English 166

Special Topics: Vladimir Nabokov


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Spring 2006 Naiman, Eric
MWF 10-11 88 Dwinelle

Other Readings and Media

Nabokov, V.: The Defense, Laughter in the Dark, The Gift, Bend Sinister, Lolita, Pnin, Pale Fire

Description

We will study the work of Nabokov as a novelist on two continents over a period of nearly sixty years. The course will be structured (more or less) chronologically and evenly divided between novels translated from Russian and written in English. After beginning with Nabokov?s second novel and two short stories, we will examine the major fiction of his European period, which culminates with the publication in Paris of (most of) The Gift. Competing interpretations of Nabokov will be considered, but our emphasis will be on metafiction, the theme of perversity and Nabokov's cultivation of a perverse reader. Since Nabokov was prolific and this course is comprehensive, students should expect to devote a considerable amount of time to reading and should come to class prepared to discuss the assigned texts. Participants in the class should anticipate reading 200 pages per week. Written work will consist of two papers (5 to 10 pages) on topics to be chosen in consultation with the professor. Penalties will be assessed for late papers. The will be a midterm and a final examination.

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