Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The jealousy of those who live for fame

Reading The Zhivago Affair, Finn and Couvee, 2014, Vintage Books paper 2015.

As early as 1927, Nabokov had expressed his deep irritation with Pasternak's style.

"His style is convex, goitrous, and goggle-eyed, as though his muse suffered from Basedow's disease.

"He is crazy about clumsy imagery, sonorous but literal rhymes, and clattering metre."

When he finally read Doctor Zhivago, Nabokov was no less derisive, not least because Pasternak's novel would knock Lolita off the top of the best-seller list -

"Doctor Zhivago is a sorry thing, clumsy, trite and melodramatic, with stock situations, voluptuous lawyers, unbelievable girls, romantic robbers and trite coincidences."

Nabokov said Pasternak's mistress must have written it.

Well, I never thought much of it, either.

And the movie often seemed far too long.

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