Sunday, December 27, 2015

Brian Boyd

Brian Boyd is well known for his extensive writing on Vladimir Nabokov, including a two-volume biography, analyses of Pale Fire and Ada, or Ardor, and the collection of essays, Stalking Nabokov.

From his Q & A with Nika Knight for Guernica:
Guernica: How did you first encounter Nabokov’s work?

Brian Boyd: My parents both left school at fourteen, during the Depression, and didn’t know how to feed my appetite for reading. They ended up buying a corner store where we had magazine orders and it was my job to sort them out. I would check out the magazines and read everything from cover to cover, practically. Then they moved up to a bookstore with a lending library, which had Lolita in it. I was about twelve or thirteen at the time and realized that this was both a dirty book and a classic, so I went for it. It was over my head, but a few years later, in ’69, when I was sixteen, there was a Time magazine cover story on Nabokov at the time of Ada’s being published. I was sorting out magazine orders for my family and I read this featured interview that had the wonderful headline, I have never met a more lonely, more lucid, better balanced mad mind than mine.

I was blown away. I went to the library to get his latest novel, which was Pale Fire, and I just adored it. I followed every clue that he dropped—which meant reading it about three times in the course of reading it for the first time—and it seemed to open up so many avenues of discovery all the way through. I’ve been...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue