Books: Interest in Bugs, Not Humbugs

VLADIMIR NABOKOV: LECTURES ON LITERATURE Edited by Fredson Bowers; Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; 385 pages; $19.95

"All satisfied with their seats? O.K. No talking, no smoking, no knitting, no newspaper reading, no sleeping, and for God's sake take notes." So began Literature 311-312 at Cornell in the '50s, Professor Nabokov presiding. Teaching was of necessity Nabokov's livelihood in those pre-Lolita days, and he took to it as he took to all the shifting fortunes of his long émigré life: with energy, flair and an unfailing relish for the ironies of the situation. Somewhere in one...

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