Well, He’s Not Wrong About Portnoy

Those who enjoyed Nabokov’s high-literary trolling the first time around can rest assured that the fresh opinions expressed herein are just as strong. In the line of fire are William Faulkner, Albert Camus, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko (all “second-rate”), Samuel Richardson (“third-rate”), Fyodor Dostoevsky (“a journalist”), Maxim Gorky (“a bad writer”), Andre Gide (“boring”), Thomas Wolfe (“mediocrity”), Ernest Hemingway (“a writer for boys”), Thomas Mann (“a small writer who did big stories badly”), Rousseau (“mediocre”), Cervantes (“mediocre and tedious”), Stendhal (also “mediocre and tedious”), Friedrich Schiller (“nothing”), Joseph Conrad (“swarms with clichés”), Herbert Marcuse (“intolerably trivial”), Andre Malraux (“execrable”), Samuel Beckett’s poems (“banal and false”), Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago (“a mediocre melodrama with Trotskyist tendencies”), Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint (“a ridiculous book”), and, of course, Freud (“charlatan”).

From a review of Nabokov’s essays in The Telegraph

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