His entry begins:
I'm currently reading Maria Semple's Today Will be Different, hoping that it will be as flat-out fantastic as Where'd You Go, Bernadette? I'm about half way through, and I'm not quite sure yet. Semple is a...[read on]About The Feud, from the publisher:
The Feud is the deliciously ironic (and sad) tale of how two literary giants destroyed their friendship in a fit of mutual pique and egomania.Visit Alex Beam's website and Twitter perch.
In 1940, Edmund Wilson was the undisputed big dog of American letters. Vladimir Nabokov was a near-penniless Russian exile seeking asylum in the States. Wilson became a mentor to Nabokov, introducing him to every editor of note, assigning him book reviews for The New Republic, engineering a Guggenheim Fellowship. Their intimate friendship blossomed over a shared interest in all things Russian, ruffled a bit by political disagreements. But then came the worldwide best-selling novel Lolita, and the tables were turned. Suddenly Nabokov was the big (and very rich) dog. The feud finally erupted in full when Nabokov published his hugely footnoted and virtually unreadable literal translation of Pushkin’s famously untranslatable verse novel, Eugene Onegin. Wilson attacked his friend’s translation with hammer and tongs in The New York Review of Books. Nabokov counterattacked. Back and forth the increasingly aggressive letters flew, until the narcissism of small differences reduced their friendship to ashes.
Alex Beam has fashioned this clash of literary titans into a delightful and irresistible book—a comic contretemps of a very high order and a poignant demonstration of the fragility of even the deepest of friendships.
My Book, The Movie: Gracefully Insane.
The Page 69 Test: Gracefully Insane.
The Page 99 Test: Great Idea at the Time.
The Page 99 Test: American Crucifixion.
My Book, The Movie: The Feud.
Writers Read: Alex Beam.