Thursday, August 21, 2014
VERA NABOKOV'S PROLEPTIC LETTER
In 1985 I wrote a letter to the London publisher of Nabokov's Nikolay Gogol (1973), requesting information for an article I was writing:
Prolepsis is a rhetorical device in which one answers an opponent's objection or argument before he/she has put it forward.
The London publisher did not reply, but forwarded my letter to Nabokov's widow, Vera Nabokov, in Switzerland. Whereupon she wrote me a letter in which she informed me that my approach was all wrong and that I need not write my article.
The article, which I published (against orders) in 1986 is called "Nabokov's Influence on Gogol."