Chapter 10: Of Words and Worlds: The Role of Proust’s Aesthetics in Nabokov’s Lectures on Literature

in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lectures on Literature
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Abstract

This is not a study of the relationship between Nabokov’s texts and Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. However, whereas previous critics focused predominantly on stylistic and thematic silhouettes of Proust in Nabokov’s novels, this contribution seeks to focus more in particular on the distinctly Proustian reverberations that resound in some of the central aesthetic beliefs and opinions underlying Nabokov’s critical analyses in the Lectures on Literature. Closely comparing fragments from both authors, an effort is made here to lay bare not only the many ways in which the thoughts of these two giants of modern literature are interrelated, but also, and perhaps more importantly, where and how they subtly differ from one another.

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