Droppingly Gorgeous Sentences: "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov, Craig Raine

(Original Review, 1992-02-10)

I can speak and write English pretty well, and I am completely lacking in Nabokov's talent for prose. I do, however, wonder whether the fact that English was his fourth or fifth language may have enabled him to approach writing in a different way. He seems to be very aware of structural features, and I wonder if this skill came out of his ability to speak numerous languages? I'd have to say that's undoubtedly true: the more languages one knows the more one becomes aware of how each one works and, often, greater facility in manipulating them to one's uses.



If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.