GLEE Meets Nabokov

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26 August 2010

I’ve been re-reading a number of favorite books in preparation for teaching, including Nabokov’s Speak, Memory (this particular paperback copy will always and forever remind me of N. from grad school, who generously “loaned” the book to me — You’ll enjoy this, she said, and everything N. recommended I devoured — and from whom I guess you could say I ultimately stole the book.  Although, N., if you’re reading, I’ll happily send it back to you).

Nature expects a full-grown man to accept the two black voids, fore and aft, as stolidly as he accepts the extraordinary visions in between.  Imagination, the supreme delight of the immortal and the immature, should be limited.  In order to enjoy life, we should not enjoy it too much.

I rebel against this state of affairs.  I feel the urge to take my rebellion outside and picket nature.

This from the first chapter, also know as “”The Perfect Past,” originally published in the New Yorker in 1948.

Now I’ll make a hard turn toward pop culture:  it’s official, I’m hooked on GLEE.  Possibly what I love most is the name of the show.  Glee!  Supreme delight of the immortal and the immature! UNlimited.  Completely over the top.  Rachel with that perpetually constipated look on her face, both singing and talking.  It’s all so urgent and too much.  Nabokov might be pleased (there are cute girls in short skirts and knee socks, after all).

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