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dc.contributor.authorOlsson, Suzann Claire
dc.date.accessioned2013-02-20T03:10:48Z
dc.date.available2013-02-20T03:10:48Z
dc.date.issued1983
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10179/4188
dc.description.abstractNabokov was both teacher and artist, and this study examines his own views about writing and reading, as contained in his published lectures and interviews, in order to approach his literary practices in the English novels. For the purposes of analysing the "architectonics of a text, Nabokov distinguishes between two aspects of form: style ("the manner of the author") and structure ("the planned pattern of a work," which includes both formal properties--conventions, techniques, garre--and the arrangement of content--story development, the "choice" and " interplay" of characters). Part One of this thesis examines this distinction and its consequences in order to explain the principles which underlie the self-conscious strategies of Nabokov's wri ting. The paradoxical alliance of artifice and realism in what he calls "the facts of fiction" are related to his attitudes towards 'facts' and 'reality' in life (Chapter One); the methods of his style, in their contribution towards a continuing dialectic of forms, involve distinctions between imitative and innovative styles, and between impersonal and personal representations (Chapter Two); his fiction embraces a variety of human discourse, from scholarly research to art, and plays upon the distinctions between non-fictive re-construction and artistic re-creation (Chapter Three). Throughout the English novels, characters are dramatized in a process of choosing styles which may or may not conform to Nabokov's structural design but which represent the "other selves" of personality. Nabokov's structuring of the novels provides a critical perspective on these stylizations. The descriptive framework outlined in Part One is the basis for an account in Part Two of the particular relationships which are established between structure and style in each of the English novels. Nabokov's main approach is to present a narrative through first-person narrators working within non-fictive conventions of representation . This format is used in The Rear Life of Sebastian Knight, Pnin, Lolita, Pale Fire, Ada and Look at the Harlequins! In Bend Sinister and Transparent Things, however, Nabokov presents the narrative through omniscient and intrusive authorial figures. Chapters Four and Five examine the differing narrative structures of The Real Life of Sebastian Knight and Bend Sinister. In The Real Life of Sebastian Knight Nabokov establishes a conflict between the conventions of biography and V.'s stylizations; this conflict suggests how V. functions as an imitative novelist, identifying with an idealized portrait of artistic sensibility. Bend Sinister brings together an outer triune of author, work of art and reader with an inner triune of world, totalitarian state and individual in order to explore the analogies between an artistic " theatre of the mind" and self representation; in particular, Nabokov's design reveals how Krug's incomplete self-characterization contributes to his downfall. Nabokov's structural exploration of "individual reality" in Pnin (Chapter Six) also draws attention to the way his narrator's 'biographical' portrait of Pnin is a form of artistic impersonation; the narrator, together with Jack Cockerell, is part of a "troika" of personalities, the "radix" of which is the individual style of Timofey Pnin. Chapter Seven analyses the way the differing narrative structures of Pale Fire and Transparent Things play parodically with the interrelationships and distinctions between artistic and non-fictive representations. Finally, Chapter Eight offers some suggestions about the ways in which Nabokov's structuring of the three memoirs- -Lolita, Ada, and Look at the Harlequins! --elaborates his concern with memory as the basis of "individual reality."en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherMassey Universityen_US
dc.rightsThe Authoren_US
dc.subjectVladimir Nabokoven
dc.subjectRussian literatureen
dc.subjectRussian literature in Englishen
dc.titleStructure and style : an approach to characterization in Nabokov's English novels : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in English at Massey Universityen
dc.typeThesisen
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen
thesis.degree.grantorMassey Universityen
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)en


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