More Nabokovilia in Martin Amis

So I knew there was some Nabokovilia in Martin Amis's London Fields and The Information, but it wasn't till I visited the former and revisited the latter that I found even more.

See page 303 of London Fields:
Vladimir Nabokov, encouragingly, was a champion insomniac. He believed that this was the best way to divide people: those who slept and those who didn't. The great line in Transparent Things, on of the saddest novels in English: "Night is always a giant but this one was specially terrible."
Fee fie fo fum, goes the giant. How did VN ever slay the thing? I wander. I write. I wring my hands. Insomnia has something to be said for it, in my case. It beats dreaming.


And see too page 238 of The Information:
To paraphrase a critic who also knew about beetles and what they liked, Kafka's beetle took a beetle pleasure, a beetle solace, in all the darkness and the dust and the discards.


Three observations:

  1. Amis, in The War Against Cliche, his collection of book reviews, loves to use the same sort of Transparent-Things-insomniacs-or-not-"There's only two kinds of people in this world" line as an opening hook (not often, but often enough: some examples: "It was in Joysprick (1973), I think, that Anthony Burgess first made his grand-sounding distinction between the 'A' novelist and the 'B' novelist" (113), "There are two kinds of long novel" (121), "Dipsomaniacs are either born that way, or they just end up that way" (207)). 
  2. The Information's Richard Tull's beetle thoughts have been only slightly reshuffled in transport. Nabokov's original line, from the Kafka chapter in Lectures on Literature, reads: "...curiously enough, Gregor, though a very sick beetle -- the apple wound is festering, and he is starving -- finds some beetle pleasure in crawling among all that dusty rubbish." (Tull festers a bit himself: bitter, ignored, he is a writer of unreadable fiction condemned to read and review lengthy, unreadable biographies.)
  3. There's Nabokov in Kingsley too! I'll be checking out the letters and Stanley and the Women presently.