Nabokov's Art of Memory and European Modernism [NOOK Book]

Overview

Despite Vladimir Nabokov's hostility toward literary labels, he clearly recognized his own place in cultural history. In a fresh approach stressing Nabokov's European context, John Foster shows how this writer's art of memory intersects with early twentieth-century modernism. Tracing his interests in temporal perspective and the mnemonic image, in intertextual "reminiscences," and in individuality amid cultural multiplicity, the book begins with such early Russian novels as Mary, then treats his emerging art of ...
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Nabokov's Art of Memory and European Modernism

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Overview

Despite Vladimir Nabokov's hostility toward literary labels, he clearly recognized his own place in cultural history. In a fresh approach stressing Nabokov's European context, John Foster shows how this writer's art of memory intersects with early twentieth-century modernism. Tracing his interests in temporal perspective and the mnemonic image, in intertextual "reminiscences," and in individuality amid cultural multiplicity, the book begins with such early Russian novels as Mary, then treats his emerging art of memory from Laughter in the Dark to The Gift. After discussing the author's cultural repositioning in his first English novels, Foster turns to Nabokov's masterpiece as an artist of memory, the autobiography Speak, Memory, and ends with an epilogue on Pale Fire.As a cross-cultural overview of modernism, this book examines how Nabokov navigated among Proust and Bergson, Freud and Mann, and Joyce and Eliot. It also explores his response to Baudelaire and Nietzsche as theorists of modernity, and his sense of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Pushkin as modernist precursors. As an approach to Nabokov, the book reflects the heightened importance of autobiography in current literary study. Other critical issues addressed include Bakhtin's theory of intertextuality, deconstructive views of memory, Benjamin's modernism of memory, and Nabokov's assumptions about modernism as a concept.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400820894
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 2/8/1993
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 284
  • File size: 772 KB

Table of Contents



Preface and Acknowledgments


Note on Citations



Pt. 1

Points of Departure

1

1

The European Nabokov, the Modernist Moment, and Cultural Biography

3

2

The Self-Defined Origins of an Artist of Memory

24



From Synesthesia to the Two Master Narratives

24



Nietzsche, Baudelaire, and the Discourse of Modernity

36

3

The Rejection of Anticipatory Memory: From Mary to The Defense and Glory (1925-1930)

52

Pt. 2

Toward France

71

4

Encountering French Modernism: Kamera Obskura (1931-1932)

73

5

From the Personal to the Intertextual: Dostoevsky and the Two-Tiered Mnemonic System in Despair (1932-1933)

91

6

Narrative between Art and Memory: Writing and Rewriting "Mademoiselle O" (1936-1967)

110

7

Memory Modernism, and the Fictive Autobiographies

130



Recollected Emotion in "Spring in Fialta" (1936-1947)

131



The Covert Modernism of The Gift (1934-1937)

146

Pt. 3

In English

157

8

Cultural Mobility and British Modernism: The Real Life of Sebastian Knight and Bend Sinister (1938-1946)

159

9

Autobiographical Images: The Shaping of Speak, Memory (1946-1967)

178

10

The Cultural Self-Consciousness of Speak, Memory

203



Epilogue: Proust over T. S. Eliot in Pale Fire (1962)

219



Notes

233



Index

255

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