Nabokov’s Permanent Mystery: The Expression of Metaphysics in His Work

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McFarland, Nov 8, 2010 - Literary Criticism - 212 pages
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This critical text examines the ways in which Vladimir Nabokov, one of the twentieth century’s great writers, structured his works to encapsulate his metaphysical beliefs. It draws examples from Nabokov’s novels, stories and nonfiction, revealing a startling consistency in his beliefs over the course of his career, even as the structure of his novels increased in complexity. At the heart of his work is a profound respect for what’s missing, for unsolvable riddles, for questions even at the expense of answers. Nabokov’s techniques—from wordplay to plotlines—reveal an enduring reverence for permanent mystery.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 The Live Source of the Cliché
15
2 Time Frames
34
3 The Return Structure
43
4 The Metaphysics of Mistakes
51
5 The Problem of Biography
60
6 This Side
74
7 The Otherworldly Role of Water
90
11 The Indivisible Pearl
122
12 Merging Souls Inviolate Lives
132
13 The Teleological Potential of Words
142
14 Not Quilty
148
15 Ascending Structures
162
16 The Conjurers Rented Rabbit
175
17 The Metaphysics of Imagination
182
Chapter Notes
187

8 Nabokovs Originals
97
9 The Metaphysics of the ZigZag
105
10 The Authorial Role
115

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About the author (2010)

David S. Rutledge teaches English at the University of New Orleans in Louisiana. He has published scholarly works on Nabokov and Dickinson and has edited two anthologies about New Orleans.

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