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Book Reviews 219 perspectives on Nabokov's works. But one can't help but wonder if they belong in an introductory study, aimed in part at giving new readers an entree into the mainstream understanding of the novelist and his novels. Third, and finally, Sharpe, like virtually all other Nabokovian commentators, is unable to resist the temptation to occasionally imitate the style of his subject. Much of the style of Vladimir Nabokov is clear and appropriate, and Sharpe is a healthy long way from the pseudo-Nabokovianisms of some of his predecessors. Still, at times, one wants to suggest leaving Nabokov's style to Nabokov. For example , it really isn't necessary to begin the study with a sentence about Nabokov's death, and to conclude the book with one on his birth. This was clever when Nabokov did it in his biography of Gogol, a bit cute the first time or two a critic tried it, and now just seems unnecessary. Or, when discussing John Shade's physical appearance, Professor Sharpe probably did not need to add the following footnote (cited in its entirety: "I am struck by the similarity between this and the tribute of a recent biographer-obituarist recalling his first meeting with his future subject: 'Even then he was not slim, yet he carried about him an atmosphere of thinness' ( 7he Independent, Thursday 4 April 1991, p. 3)" (91). Or this item from the Bibliography: "There is much more written on Nabokov than is worth reading (with Kinbotian modesty I leave my reader to pass appropriate judgement on this book)..." (112). These games are fun; most of us would not be the partisans of Nabokov if we did not enjoy them; still, the place for Kinbote is in Pale Fire, not in criticism of Pale Fire: the temptation should be resisted a bit more stoutly than Professor Sharpe manages. These are relatively small quibbles, indeed, and they do little to mar a useful book. Tony Sharpe's Vladimir Nabokov is a study which will be an appropriate door and eye opener for the beginner, and a stimulating discussion for the more experienced. To have accomplished either of these objectives is admirable, to have achieved both is impressive. Sam Schuman University of North Carolina al Ashville A Small Alpine Form: Studies in Nabokov's Short Fiction. Edited by Charles Nicol and Gennady Barabtarlo. New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1993. 239 pp. $38.00. We now possess a foundation for the study of Nabokov's short fiction. Charles Nicol and Gennady Barabtarlo—both veterans collectors of Nabokov's "smaller butterflies" (xiv)—have put together an impressive volume of articles which will have a lasting impact on future Nabokovians. Before getting into the intricacies of this project I would like to list the main landmarks on the thorny road towards the present collection—"thorny," because until recently some 75 short stories/novelettes/novellas have remained shut off from the main highways of Nabokoviana. The Nicol/Barabtarlo volume augments and in some ways eclipses previous studies. So far we have only one monograph on the short 220 Nabokov Studies stories, Marina Turkevich Naumann's Blue Evenings in Berlin (1978), started as a Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Pennsylvania and then turned into a book. Two other dissertations remain unpublished: Linda Nadine Saputelli's from Harvard University(1978), and Ljubo Dragoljub Majhanovich from the University of Illinois at Urbana (1976)—the former dealing exclusively with the short stories, and the latter considering both the early Russian novels and the short stories as parts of a single continuum. Some 60 scholarly articles—mainly in English but also in Russian, German, and French—deal with aspects of Nabokov's short stories, the earliest going back to the 1930s and with the highest crop yielded by the 1970s. In addition, Nabokov students may find several chapters on the short stories, beginning with Douglas Fowler's in his Reading Nabokov (1973) and ending with two sections in a recent monograph by one of the contributors to this collection, John Burt Foster, Jr. Pekka Tammi's Problems of Nabokov's Poetics (1985) considers the collected short stories along with the novels from...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9965
Print ISSN
1080-1219
Pages
pp. 219-224
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-13
Open Access
No
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