Keys To 'The Gift'

Overview

Yuri Leving's "Keys to 'The Gift': A Guide to Vladimir Nabokov's Novel" is a new systematization of the main available data on Nabokov's most complex Russian novel, 'The Gift' (1934-1939). From notes in Nabokov's private correspondence to scholarly articles accumulated during the seventy years since the novel's first appearance in print, the work draws from a broad spectrum of existing material in a succinct and coherent way, as well as providing innovative analyses. The first part of the monograph, "The Novel," ...
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Overview

Yuri Leving's "Keys to 'The Gift': A Guide to Vladimir Nabokov's Novel" is a new systematization of the main available data on Nabokov's most complex Russian novel, 'The Gift' (1934-1939). From notes in Nabokov's private correspondence to scholarly articles accumulated during the seventy years since the novel's first appearance in print, the work draws from a broad spectrum of existing material in a succinct and coherent way, as well as providing innovative analyses. The first part of the monograph, "The Novel," outlines the basic properties of 'The Gift' (plot, characters, style, and motifs) and reconstructs its internal chronology. The second part, "The Text," describes the creation of the novel and the history of its publication, public and critical reaction, challenges of English translation, and post-Soviet reception. Along with annotations to all five chapters of 'The Gift,' the commentary provides insight into problems of paleography, featuring unique textological analysis of the novel based on the author's study of the archival copy of the manuscript.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Yuri Leving’s meticulous dissection of Nabokov’s last Russian novel, The Gift, fully vindicates his claim for it as ‘one of the masterpieces of twentieth century modernist literature,’ fit to stand beside Joyce's Ulysses for the allusive richness of its content and the musicality of its prose. In seven richly fact-filled chapters Leving has unearthed a wealth of historical, chronological, biographical, textological, literary critical and bibliographical material to bolster his case, and like a scrupulous archeologist, uncovers the multiple layers of Nabokov's complex creation to illustrate and illuminate its artistic essence. In it's masterly marshaling of evidence, Leving’s work is unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon.”--Michael Scammell, the author of Solzhenitsyn, A Biography (1984) and Koestler: The Indispensable Intellectual (2010), the translator of The Gift into English

“Keys to The Gift is a remarkably useful contribution to the understanding of one of Nabokov’s most difficult and brilliant novels.”--Ellendea Proffer Teasley, the co-founder of the Ardis Publishers

“Prof. Yuri Leving’s book on Nabokov’s magisterial 'The Gift' is a masterpiece in itself, the last — and definitive — word on the subject.”--Alexander Theroux, the author of Darconville’s Cat (1980) and Laura Warholic (2007), the literary critic of The Wall Street Journal

"Leving’s guide Keys to The Gift is an invaluable and comprehensive companion that doesn’t only help the reader keep together plot lines, but reveals the secret to all the novel’s various enigmas--multilingual word play, hidden signs and symbols, and literary and historical references and allusions...Leving solves Nabokov’s puzzles we’d otherwise likely never even notice...This book will be treasured by scholars and serious Nabokov fans everywhere for its wide scope and in-depth analysis." --Jeffrey Halperin, The Toronto Review of Books

“In this hefty compendium Yuri Leving has assembled a stupendous amount of information about The Gift, Nabokov’s ninth novel, the last to be written in Russianâ?¦.Leving’s Guide isâ?¦a valuable resource for teaching The Gift, enabling a visual reconstitution of Nabokov’s Russian Berlin and identifying multiple layers of allusions hitherto explicated (elegantly by the amazing Dolinin) only in Russian.”--Pricilla Meyer

". . . a passionate tribute to one of the great literary masterpieces in the twentieth century. . . . Leving's book provides a detailed introduction to The Gift, which ties together two hundred years of Russian traditions and Nabokov's personal experiences. It will be valuable for undergraduates and non-specialists as well as those who do not have the Nabokovian expertise to decode the intricately interwoven components of the novel on their own. Moreover, Leving's encyclopedic approach will be useful as a general guideline for undergraduates on how to read and analyze classic literature.'' --Kiun Hwang, University of Pittsburgh; review published in the Slavic and Eastern European Journal, 57.1 (Spring 2013)

"For those wishing to embark on serious study of The Gift, Leving's Keys is a vital and invaluable starting place." --Stephen H. Blackwell, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; review published in the Slavonic and Eastern European Review, Vol. 91, No. 2, April 2013

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Yuri Leving (Ph.D. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) is involved in research on visual arts at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He has taught at The George Washington University and is now at Dalhousie University. His main field of interest is Russian literature, culture and film. Leving is the author of Train Station â?“ Garage â?“ Hangar: Vladimir Nabokov and Poetics of Russian Urbanism (2004, Short-listed for Andrey Bely Prize). He also co-edited two volumes of articles, Eglantine: Collection of Philological Essays to Honor the Sixtieth Anniversary of Roman Timenchik (2005) and Empire N. Nabokov and Heirs (2006).
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