books: Mantel & Nabokov

Happy birthday to Vladimir Nabokov, Tiner's favorite author and a writer who's work looms over the vast desert of modern literature like the Pyramids.

I've been reading The Giant, O'Brien by Hilary Mantel and just finished it this hour, the tale of a soulful giant beset by all the monstrousness of science and modernity.  In describing her prose recently I put her on a shelf with Nabokov, not so much for the structure and assemblage but for the sense of awe her works impose.  Most writers I read I could daydream of emulating, equaling perhaps with enough effort.  Considering Nabokov or Mantel is to confront a tremendous natural wonder, the existence of which humbles notions of equality.

In recent years I haven't been a re-reader of books.  I've had barely any time to read them once, and only by dint of concentrated effort did I manage to finish a spare 50 titles last year.  But in honoring Nabokov this quote was used-

 A good reader, a major reader, an active and creative reader is a rereader. 

Which came to me as I turned the final page and read the last word of The Giant, O'Brien, a slim volume, less than 200 pages, yet massing much greater in the mind, demanding revisiting in light of final revelations.

So, now I'll have a short, one book 're-read' pile next to the 'to read' pile.

Thanks, Vlad!

1 comment:

baxie said...

oh my God do I love you