Chapter 11: Vladimir Nabokov on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lectures on Literature
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Somehow Nabokov selected Stevenson’s popular story together with James Joyce’s and Marcel Proust’s main novels, a choice that has puzzled some critics. Nabokov praises Stevenson’s style, the originality of his vision and the magic that he detects in Stevenson’s story. In his discussion, he appreciates aspects that deviate from Stevenson’s intentions. Surprisingly, he refrains from discussing the story’s literary genealogy, probably to emphasise its originality. It is argued in this contribution that the supernatural in Stevenson’s story probably goes a long way to explain Nabokov’s partiality.

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