Solid advice from Nabokov


A friend’s father lent me his copy of Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lectures on Don Quixote,” and I was surprised in ways I have not been surprised in a very long time. By literary criticism, that is.

Above are the first lines of the intro to the lectures, which are unlike any critical reading I did at college. And, as a Lit major, I did plenty of it. I actually even took a course on “Don Quixote” but don’t remember any required reading as utterly hammock-friendly as this. Granted, I had a lot of fun at college.

Anyway, if anyone out there thinks reading literary criticism sucks, please read this book. I must admit that Nabokov’s reading of the world’s first novel allowed me to viscerally, finally, experience the novel itself, as quixotic as that may sound.

Read Cartagena 2014


  1. Bill Hayes

    I shall have to find this book – from those few lines, it looks like an incredibly read. It remined me a bit of Umerto Echo’s book on the semiotics of film and books called “Adventures in Hyper-Reality”

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