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118 The final section of the book shares with the earlier sections the main detractions. First, no argument is made, nor interpretation advanced. Second, and as a result, the bits of evidence that might add up to something are undermined, as Rowe recognizes when he says, “The suggestions presented above are both tentative and limited, but hopefully they will lead to further investigation” (Rowe, p. 142). The highly questionable evidence is undermined by Rowe’s “And, obviously, nothing can be proved,” and “Despite the frequency of such sustained potential symbolism, its ‘beauty’ must ultimately rest in the fact that none of it—however suggestive—can ever be irrefutably demonstrated” (Rowe, pp. 153, 146). Possibly the most marked failure of the book as an attempt to analyze elements of Nabokov’s fiction is its inability to distinguish the artist from his creations, much as Nabokov has been seen as a sort of master Humbert Humbert, the prototype nympholept. As a result, Rowe frequently confuses himself about Nabokov’s intentions and self-consciousness, and in effect accuses Nabokov of HumbertKinbote -Van Veen perversities of perception. Nabokov’s distance from and control of his characters is at the heart of his "deceptive world.” Rowe would have us believe, on occasion, that it is Nabokov who might be deceived. His belief that Nabokov is deceived is revealed again in a response, of modest and appreciative tone, to Nabokov’s review [“Arbors and Mists,” letter to the editor, New York Review of Books, 17 (Nov., 18, 1971), 46]. Rowe still confuses Nabokov’s meaning when he quotes Nabokov as having defended his rhetoric of “most innocent words” from Rowe’s sexual imputations. Not only is that quotation not in Nabokov’s review, but Nabokov says: “One may wonder if it was worth Mr. Rowe’s time to exhibit erotic bits picked out of Lolita and Ada—a process rather like looking for allusions to aquatic mammals in Moby Dick. ” There is one point, however, on which I hope and believe Nabokov is deceived. That is the point at which, ending his review he says, ‘‘And he will be read, he will be quoted, he will be filed in great libraries, next to my arbors and mists!” Phyllis A. Roth Sutherland, Fraser. The Style of Innocence: A Study of Hemingway and Callaghan. London: Clarke, Irwin, and Co., 1973. 120 pp. Cloth: $4.50. Just recently Philip Young threw up his hands (again) at the burgeoning scholar­ ship on Hemingway: four new books recently published, two more announced, to say nothing of the explosion of articles. Young ponders where the end may be. Nor does there seem to be an end in sight. Hemingway’s popularity (after 1929, he was never really without fame) seems to grow. In 1972 alone, Scribners sold 152,000 copies of The Sun Also Rises, 175,000 copies of A Farewell to Arms, 200,000 copies of The Old Man and the Sea, and Bantam now has 900,000 copies of Islands in the Stream in print. Sutherland’s contribution to the growing pile of scholarship is a study of Hemingway and Morley Callaghan. Ironically, Sutherland, who seeks to demonstrate the real merit of the Canadian author’s fiction, has fallen victim to the very thing that 119 has haunted Callaghan from the beginning when Scribner’s Magazine in its attempt to introduce their “new fiction star” linked him with Hemingway. As Brandon Conron observed in 1966, “The effects of this gratuitous association are not yet obliterated.” The reed merit of Callaghan's work must be demonstrated by examining the corpus of his works alone, but some of his critics, even those who admire him, continue to link his work to Hemingway, perhaps in the hope that the connection with the more famous author will draw attention. There are other problems in Sutherland’s book to be sure. One can excuse the misspelling of the major male character’s name in “Up in Michigan” (it is not a typo, but done twice), but one does not expect a serious critic to get the name of the major character wrong in a stoiy as famous as “Fifty Grand.” Sutherland in discussing that story...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-5806
Print ISSN
0091-8083
Pages
pp. 118-120
Launched on MUSE
2015-05-05
Open Access
No
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