Books: Madness & Art

NABOKOV: HIS LIFE IN ART by Andrew Field. 397 pages. Little, Brown. $8.95.

Vladimir Nabokov once remarked that the ideal reader for his books would be someone like himself, "a little Nabokov." There may never be one, for it would be hard to match him even in junior size. Besides being a scholar, critic, translator, chess player, lepidopterist and eccentric, he is one of those relatively rare writers who in the midst of their career have been able to alter the language of their craft. Above all, he is a unique artificer in the...

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