Simon Karlinsky has substantially expanded and revised the first edition of Vladimir Nabokov and Edmund Wilson's correspondence to include fifty-nine letters discovered subsequent to the book's original publication in 1979. Since then, five volumes of Edmund Wilson's diaries have been published, as well as a volume of Nabokov's correspondence with other people and Brian Boyd's definitive two-volume biography of Nabokov. The additional letters and a considerable body of new annotations clarify the correspondence, tracing in greater detail the two decades of close friendship between the writers.
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(235mm x 156mm x 25mm)
University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
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US Kirkus Review »
This collection first appeared in 1979, but since that time 59 new letters have emerged in the now notorious correspondence between the jokester novelist Nabokov and the somewhat stern man of letters Wilson. Karlinsky's new edition incorporates those and adds some annotations largely inspired by books that have appeared since 1979, especially Brian Boyd's monumental biography of Nabokov and Wilson's five volumes of journals. What obtained in 22 years ago still holds: as "Kirkus "put it, here is a "correspondence in which these tetchy titans are most often seen with their hackles up and their blind spots front and center." Nabokov mocks Wilson's taste in fiction; Wilson abhors Nabokov's lame puns, and then the main event occurs: their knockdown drag-out over metrics and Pushkin. Karlinsky, we noted correctly back then, favors Nabokov, and his introduction is still "pompous," as we argued, and appears here to be identical to the original, despite the publisher's claim otherwise. Without quite calling a draw, "Kirkus "concluded that "whichever way the one-upmanship came out, followers of literary give-and-take will find both verbal warriors in top form." (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Vladimir Nabokov
Simon Karlinsky is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the editor of The Sexual Labyrinth of Nicolai Gogol (1992) and Anton Chekhov's Life and Thought (1997).