Dear Vladimir Nabokov:



If I called your novel Laughter in the dark exquisitely amusing, would that be a compliment, or a nonpliment? Your tone of voice remains marvelously light throughout the story, while the drama that takes place is everything but, melodramatic perhaps even. Case in point: Albinus, your protagonist, succumbs to sobbing not once, but twice. I can't remember another (male) protagonist in your novels crying.
He did make a mess of his life, this Albinus – Albert to friends. Foolishly he decides to leave his reliable but boring wife and mother of his young daughter for his mistress, the quicksilver Margot, who, it has been pointed out before, reminds us of Lolita. Do you agree? However, I thought Margot is much meaner. She and her old lover Rex play a nasty little game on the old man, especially towards the end, when Albinus loses his eyesight due to a car accident (not very likely this, but okay). At that point, the meanings of the title of your novel multiply.
I had a problem with the death of the daughter. Not that you let that happen; it makes for excellent tragedy. But I could not understand Albinus's response. It was inadequate. For a man of letters (he is an art professor), and a sentimental one at that, he should have been devastated by the event; it should have made him feel awfully guilty. But nothing of the sort is eating Albinus. He merrily continues his  impossible, disastrous relationship with Margot. And why – well, he finds her very attractive. His reasoning – 'I know I am hurting a lot of people I once loved, I know I'm ruining my fortune, but I will not give in to common sense'; the sheer recklessness of it – you describe very well.
What struck me is the shifting perspective you use. A contemporary writer would probably stick to Albinus, tell everything from his perspective, but you thought it much more interesting, and rightfully so, to hop from one character to the other and back.
It is hard not to admire your style. Witty but not too witty, ironic but never too ironic, clever but never outsmarting or pedantic. A writer should write about pain, loss and death, the stuff that makes one cringe, howl and weep, but preferably in a playful manner. If literature is a game, you've won, I guess.