Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Nabokov and Voice

Nabokov’s voice is an older man looking back at his love of butterflies as a child. His voice is very appropriate with the material, since personally I feel it would be much different if he used his child’s voice. To get what his child’s voice would sound like, we would need to understand his childhood. He lived in a very wealthy household. He was loved by his parents and he learned how to speak three languages at an early age. He was quoted to say that his childhood was in fact, “perfect.”

As you can tell this is very different than Frank’s childhood. Although I would find it interesting to see what the voice of Nabokov would sound like, I feel that it wouldn’t be relatable than Frank’s child voice. He would have gain the sense of innocence, something that was happy and enjoy to read. However we seem to relate better with hardship than success. It is usually the better story as well. No one wants to read something that is just fluffy, sunny, and happy. That’s what I feel like if Nabokov spoke this story as a child. It would sound something like this, “ I saw this beautiful butterfly and it made me feet happy. “ The story was just about him playing with butterflies. The story itself is not very exciting. What made the story was Nabokov’s adult perspective on it. His use of vivid imagery and play of words made the story interesting to read. Frank’s voice played a vital role in the story. He created a truthfulness of his child’s voice. He misspelled words and one long-run thought after another. It worked because his story was about hardship and how his childhood was very much different than others, but we could still relate to it.

He was an entomologist and a writer. What a great way to blend his two professions together by writing a story about butterflies. To make it less scientific, he chose the scene of chasing butterflies as a child. It was a good mix of use of scientific vocabulary and sensual imagery. He combined the two together letting the reader in about his love of butterflies and the nostalgia of being a kid running through the fields again.

I feel like if I was writing a memoir I would use my voice and inner thought when the story was
happening. The adult perspective of looking back is hard for me because sometimes I even wonder why I did the things that I did as a child. To be honest, I was a weird child. I feel like most of the time I would call myself an idiot while talking about an event that happened in my past. However if I was writing the story as a person in the past, it would seem like I was an intelligent child who had the whole world figured out.

1 comment:

  1. You make an excellent point that Nabokov's material is different from McCourt's and merits an adult narrator's voice.