All kinds of writers deceive, Nabokov

In “Good Readers and Good Writers” Nabokov argues that “Every great writer is a great deceiver”. Nabokov continues to argue that a good writer is someone who invents. A person who is able to construct entirely new truths out of nothing. The idea that a good writer is someone who manipulates their readers into truly immersing themselves in the story and believing whatever the author may write is a bold statement and a difficult task. At first, I did not agree with Nabokov’s description of a good writer. This was because there are many great writers who don’t create entirely new stories or truths. There are many great non-fiction writers or journalists who take already true facts and construct great writing with them. As I re-read Nabokov’s article I realized the purpose of his argument. It is the construction of the facts, real or imaginary, that does the deceiving. Even writers who publish non-fiction must build their writing in a way that the reader can believe and follow. Journalists must know what statements to use and how to put them on paper to display the story they want to get across to their audience. It is not just the fiction writers who are inventors but every writer, because every writer has a reason for the story they tell. And they must use imagination to portray that reason.

2 thoughts on “All kinds of writers deceive, Nabokov

  1. Liam L

    I think we came to the same conclusion about Nabokov’s definition of “good writing,” it’s pretty limiting considering all the other forms of literature there are. I hadn’t thought about the points you made in the final conclusion, I’d be interested to see how his ideas could be applied to non-fiction, journalism, etc. like you mentioned too!

    Liked by 1 person


    I also did not agree at first that good readers can’t relate themself to the story they are reading until I really thought about Nabokov’s point more. It is important in a story to experience something you never have before.

    Liked by 1 person

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