Monday, January 12, 2015

Your Moment of Nabokov


A literary figure hounded by an increasingly hostile biographer is a premise ready-made for Vladimir Nabokov's fiction.  So it's ironic that, late in life and at the height of his success, his relationship with Andrew Field, author of four books (and a bibliography) about Nabokov, went from friendship to sourness to reciprocal spite.

In Brian Boyd's Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years (p. 618), Boyd record of Field that, among his many other alleged sins:

Informed that an event he had assigned to 'a wet autumnal day' had in fact taken place 'in July,' he had simply retyped the phrase as 'a wet autumnal day in July.'

Which is a detail so perfectly apt that one wonders it doesn't appear in one of the novels.



Sandy said...

Michael, I can't speak for July weather, but when I worked in Catskill Mountain hotels in my youth you might sometimes get a WEEK of autumnal weather in August prior to Labor Day. Tips usually went down as the guests grew enraged at the ruin of their vacations.

HANNAH'S DAD said...

And for those of us in the southern hemisphere the phrase seems not so strange at all...