Chapter 7: Gogol Seen through the Eyes of Nabokov

in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lectures on Literature
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This article focuses on Nabokov’s Nikolai Gogol. The monograph was published in 1944 and prepared in the years when Nabokov was lecturing on Russian Literature at Wellesley. The article considers Nabokov’s biased use of his single most important source (Vikenti Veresayev’s anthology of letters from and memories of Gogol (1933)) and the affinity his reading of some of Gogol’s texts shows with prominent analyses by the Russian Formalist Boris Eikhenbaum and the poet Andrey Bely. In each case, the source material goes a long way in underlining the strong identification Nabokov felt with some of Gogol’s artistic beliefs. Nabokov’s Gogol ends up being a double of Nabokov himself.

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