Nabokov did not mince words when it came to Augustan aesthetics. He called the eighteenth century the “most inartistic of centuries,�? the “pedestrian age�? irrevocably tainted by “its pathological dislike for the specific unpoetic detail and its passion for the generic term�? (EO 3: 505, 506). In his annotated translation of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, he regretted that “[for] years, Pushkin, not to speak of the minor poets of his day, could not get rid of these Wounds, Charms, and Ardors, of these clusters of cupids coming from their porcelain beehives in the eighteenth-century West�? (EG 2: 119). The phrase “Wounds, Charms, and Ardors�? has a felicitous ring to it. It brings to mind an effeminate fop in a powdered wig who professes his love with a pretentious lisp and is unceremoniously dismissed by a bored belle-and just as promptly is the whole unworthy and pretentious eighteenth century dismissed from the attention of Nabokov scholars.1.
|Title of host publication||Nabokov at the Limits|
|Subtitle of host publication||Redrawing Critical Boundaries|
|Number of pages||22|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2013|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (all)