I have damaged the cover of my new copy of Invitation to a Beheading. Normally I'd just walk into the bookstore with my receipt, put the book back on the shelf and take a different copy -- but in this instance there is bodily fluid involved. A blood-spattered copy of Beheading oozes a certain charm. (Oh if only it were blood.)

Luckily I'm not enjoying it as much as I've enjoyed Nabokov's other works, and the cover is one of my least favorite in this series of recently reissued editions. All the same I'll probably cave and repurchase it at some point, used. The novel's commonly described as Kafka-esque, which may have ruined it for me. I loved The Trial and The Castle. I like Kafka just fine. Kafka-esque, on the other hand, comes off like a class clown trying too hard to fit in. Just be, man. Just be.

Not that Nabokov was aiming for Kafka. In fact, he insists he hadn't read Kafka when he wrote this novel. All the same, that voice may be all I'm hearing as I read; it's too early to tell whether or not I can consciously shut out echoes of The Trial.

I read this morning that Tulsa's mayor has requested a proposal to privatize the Tulsa Performing Arts Center -- as if art could ever be solvent.

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