Most of the reactions I've read to Moore's "Referential" in this week's issue of the New Yorker have been either oblivious to the Nabokov original, or pent on a compare/contrast exercise. I'm more concerned about why Moore felt the need to write this piece. I don't think it's absurd to state that "Signs and Symbols" is one of the few perfect short stories in existence. Moore's reason for writing the piece, which is somewhere between a riff and an unsettling rip-off, is a complete bafflement. In the Q&A she calls it an "homage," but an homage is something that serves as a mental cue to another work of art. An homage should take the original and do something interesting and different with it: it should become a frame from which we might view the original with a unique perspective. "Referential" is less homage and more bad Hollywood re-make, because let's be honest, the stories are almost identical. When you're re-phrasing paragraphs in a way that wouldn't pass turnitin.com you aren't doing an homage, you're doing a disservice.
I'm fairly confident the only reason this piece sailed into the fiction slot is because Lorrie Moore is a (somewhat) young, hip writer and her name is a big draw. But I'm disturbed that something like this can be considered appropriate, let alone printable as its own, stand-alone story. I preferred this tack when it was consigned to Shouts & Murmurs.