Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tragicomedy

Okay, done with Pnin. Dude, it's SAD! I just feel so so so terrible for the poor fellow! Nabokov is so good with his eccentric sympathetic characters. I mean the whole thing is sort of funny, but in that horribly sad sort of way. That last part where he's just finished having this party, and he's so happy, and then he finds out he's getting fired, and he almost breaks his prized bowl? :(!!! And then those mean people who are just imitating him! The worst thing is that you know that sometime during your life, there was that kid/guy/coworker/strange guy on bus who didn't fit in that you totally laughed at behind his back.... so you're that asshole! That strange dude was Pnin!! It's just awful and wonderful at the same time that Nabokov does this.

Craft note: Strange that the whole thing is told from an anonymous first person whose identity we don't learn of until the end. I feel like in present day, workshoppers would jump on the whole, "How can he possibly know all these details? Who is this narrator TALKING TO?" And yet here we go, Nabokov, a great, doing it. Which goes to show you, in creative writing, there aren't so much rules, as guidelines, and as long as you're awesome, you can get away with anything.

Good.

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