From Nabokov and Lawrence, Giants of 20th-Century Fiction, New Volumes of Nonfiction

Dwight Garner in the New York Times:

Vladimir Nabokov and D. H. Lawrence each wrote a major novel (“Lolita,” “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”) that was banned and unbanned and banned again before being cut free.

There are other similarities. Each was a great traveler, as if in perpetual self-exile, and drawn to America. Each disliked heavy, didactic fiction. Each was a sensualist on the page, his rods and cones consistently assaulted by the world’s beauty. Each recoiled from Freud. Each had a well-tended ego.

Each has stern and persuasive feminist critics. In Jeanette Winterson’s memoir “Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?” (2012) she traced her nascent political awakening to reading Nabokov when young and thinking, “He hates women.” Kate Millet, in “Sexual Politics” (1970), lowered the boom on the “liturgical pomp” of Lawrence’s sex writing. His reputation was punctured and will never fully reinflate.

The similarities stop there. Read side by side, they seem to conduct a mutual criticism.

More here.