Galya Diment in the Times Literary Supplement:
Dostoevsky had “grand mal” seizures; mine were the simple partial ones. And they may have made me a much more discerning reader of the very same Nabokov who was the subject of the conference where my first seizure took place. I write about Nabokov and teach him every year, which means that I constantly re-read him (“One cannot read a book”, Nabokov famously advised his students; “one can only re-read it”). And certain passages in his autobiographical and fictional writings – amounting overall to a kind of obsession – started to come into sharper focus: he, too, must have suffered from some form of epilepsy.
Nabokov is, in fact, as generous in distributing epilepsy among his characters as was Dostoevsky who, as I will discuss below, may have been the main reason why the author of Lolita was not more open about his affliction. Nabokov’s personal testimonies do, however, at times approach the confessional.