Nabokov's Ada and Sidney's Arcadia: The Regeneration of a Phoenix

Author: McCarthy P.1

Source: The Modern Language Review, 1 January 2004, vol. 99, no. 1, pp. 17-31(15)

Publisher: Modern Humanities Research Association


This article argues that an important feature of Nabokov's Ada or Ardor is its evocation of Sidney's romance Arcadia and sonnet sequence Astrophel and Stella. Particular echoes and general thematic resonance are investigated, and found to be too pervasive to be coincidental. Reasons are offered why Nabokov might have been secretive about such an ancestry. They concern his political, erotic, and literary self-construction, and underlie his whole oeliguvre, adding a layer of meaning to his chosen nom de plume, ‘Sirin’.

Keywords: Ada or Ardor; Arcadia; Astrophel and Stella; echoes; secretive about such an ancestry; political; erotic; literary self-construction

Language: Unknown

Document Type: Research article

Affiliations: 1: University of Glasgow