It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature

July 4th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Sometimes we read something and it shimmers in our mind for a few days. Such as Stephany from’s recent post, an excerpt from Vladimir Nabokov’s Lectures on Literature. This small excerpt felt especially apropos in light of last week’s anti-reader essay in the New York Times Book Review. We were especially struck by this:

Every great writer is a great deceiver, but so is that arch-cheat Nature. Nature always deceives. From the simple deception of propagation to the prodigiously sophisticated illusion of protective colors in butterflies or birds, there is in Nature a marvelous system of spells and wiles. The writer of fiction only follows Nature’s lead.

Or maybe it was this:

There are three points of view from which a writer can be considered: he may be considered as a storyteller, as a teacher, and as an enchanter. A major writer combines these three — storyteller, teacher, enchanter — but it is the enchanter in him that predominates and makes him a major writer.

Or maybe it’s time we dragged out Lectures and reminded ourselves why we love this writing thing so much.

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