Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1955

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Lolita is a good book but its reputation spiralled wildly out of control. I may well still vote for it, though.

Nabokov's critical method for evaluating novels is a bit boring

Oh god, I tried reading some of his critical work and remember it being mostly very bad indeed. My main recollection was thinking "how can someone who created Pale Fire be so tedious in his literary opinions?" But I guess the lesson is to not assume that just because someone created something you love that they actually share your sensibilities. (I've learnt this lesson a lot of times now but it never quite sticks properly.)

emil.y, Thursday, 1 April 2021 14:35 (eight months ago) link

I think the way he can 'attack' a page can sometimes be wonderful. I really value his writing on Mansfield Park. Dostoevsky is where you can see the failings. He can only see a novel in terms of its technical achievement.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 1 April 2021 14:43 (eight months ago) link

Technique also involves knowing when to let go of technique, or providing the illusion of letting go. My main gripe with him, actually.

pomenitul, Thursday, 1 April 2021 14:46 (eight months ago) link

I am mad at the Gaddis because I just got sonned by the nyrb in a April fools beef

jammy mcnullity (wins), Thursday, 1 April 2021 14:49 (eight months ago) link

Gaddis is kinda good in places but the overall didn't come together for me. I really want to tackle JR tho'.

Love Highsmith but that's not her best book (of the ones I've read, which aren't enough). Fucking great writer tho'.

xp = technique for Nabokov is inseparable to aesthetic pleasure you can gain from a work. This all comes apart in Dostoevsky.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 1 April 2021 14:49 (eight months ago) link

It also is for me nine times out of ten, yet his strikes me as superficial. Oh well.

pomenitul, Thursday, 1 April 2021 14:50 (eight months ago) link

I read "Lolita" a long time ago but don't remember it very well. I've had "The Recognitions" on my bookshelves for the longest time. I started it once. Maybe someday. For me, this would probably be "The Magician's Nephew" which is my favorite of the Narnia books, because the most sci-fi. It reminds me of "A Wrinkle in Time".

o. nate, Thursday, 1 April 2021 17:46 (eight months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 4 April 2021 00:01 (eight months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Monday, 5 April 2021 00:01 (seven months ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1956

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 5 April 2021 10:42 (seven months ago) link

two weeks pass...

I confess that I really like The Recognitions (and Gaddis generally) but it's hard to argue when Lolita is in the mix.

Jurassic parkour (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 22 April 2021 14:12 (seven months ago) link


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