Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bridges to Antiterra

Anyone interested in Ada is urged to visit Ada Online: it includes the text of the novel and professor Boyd's annotations. The site is accurate, beautifully organized, rich with insight and information, and is in every regard everything this particular page is not--which is to say that Ada Online is not

A monstrous, incomplete, and (most likely) inaccurate log of the literature found in Nabokov’s glorious Ada. For the serious footwork you have Professor Brian Boyd to thank -- I’ve used his endnotes from the Library of America edition of Ada (as well as Nabokov’s Vivian Darkbloom’s Notes to Ada). All mistakes are, of course, mine. Corrections and comments and clues are welcome.

NEWS: Stanford Magazine's "Did Vladimir Nabokov's Sojourn on the Farm Inspire His Famous Novel?"

Lots of interesting, substantive, historically relevant and contextually appropriate stuff in this article. Here is a snippet that is none of those things but is jaw-dropping nonetheless:

Over the chessboard, Lanz confided a dark secret that Nabokov told biographer Field: the memorably dapper professor led a double life. On weekends, he drove to the country to participate in orgies with “nymphets.” He forced his wife to dress as a child. Another prominent Nabokov scholar and biographer, Brian Boyd, also concluded that Lanz was a “nympholept” after reviewing Nabokov’s extensive correspondence in the New York Public Library.
Lanz was best known for his 1941 book, In Quest of Morals.

Sighting: The Prismatic Bezel in the Believer

From Theo Schell-Lambert's "The Depthless Bookshelf" in the 11 January 2011 issue of The Believer:
Interestingly, the Kindle itself pops repeatedly in the ads, even after it has done its work launching the flights of novelish fancy. And we start to get the sense that the device isn't just the departure point but perhaps a feature in these increasingly tangled scenes. And we start to wonder, then, if this interior Kindle contains other false books within (false) books: perhaps The Prismatic Bezel, by Nabokov's dead author Sebastian Knight. (13)
An excerpt of the article is available online.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Boyd on Nabokov's Blues Discovery and the New York Times Article

My favorite commentary so far on the now much-e-mailed-around, much-commented-upon NY Times Nabokov Theory on Butterfly Evolution is Vindicated comes from the formidable Brian Boyd -- Nabokov biographer, editor of Nabokov's Butterflies, and most recently writer of the awesome On The Origin of Stories:
All the more kudos to Nabokov, then, for having developed a hypothesis over sixty years ago, in such a complex group, that proved fertile in driving a ground-breaking research project that uses methods (DNA sampling, computer-assisted cladistics) neither he nor anyone else could have imagined in 1945.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Sociologist Gwen Sharp's Are You Better Of Buying $200 Shoes? makes a couple of really good points on the implicit class and economic assumptions of my H&M piece.

The short answer is, Yes, you are better off buying $200-plus shoes. The slightly long answer is that the cultural capital embedded in the suggestion that someone invest in quality footwear does not translate neatly into a disregard for those who cannot afford to do so. The very long answer is here, in my response, from whence the slightly long answer is excerpted.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our Save-the-Date Card (in color)

Here's the final color version of our save-the-date card.

"Writers Need Readers" ads

I did these ads a few years back for UCF's writing center. Their motto was "Because writers need readers," so the goal was to find unexpected pairings that needed each other (just like writers need readers).

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Our Save-the-Date Card!

We've designed our Save-the-Date card, Sarah and me! For our very small Kentucky wedding! We're super proud of it, and we wanted to share the results. We used MS Word, for to we have no fancy Adobe products on our computer, and we were too bathroby for the graduate-lounge computer lab.