Books: Revisions

VN: THE LIFE AND ART OF VLADIMIR NABOKOV

This is Andrew Field's third crack at the literary and biographical puzzle that was Vladimir Nabokov. The first, Nabokov: His Life in Art (1967), demonstrated the scholar's grasp of the great man's novels, stories and poems. It was a valuable guide through an intimidating maze of themes and plots; its thoroughness made it a high form of flattery. Field's credo, that a writer's "truest and most palpable biography" is his work, rang with disarming idealism. Nabokov must have been impressed and relieved; his disdain for the genre he defined as "psychoplagiarism" was well known. The acolyte was invited to the author's...

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