Vladimir Nabokov

Sweeney, Susan Elizabeth. "By some sleight of land": How Nabokov rewrote America. 2005

Bibliographic title
"By some sleight of land": How Nabokov rewrote America
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The Cambridge Companion to Nabokov
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That Nabokov is an American writer seems both a marvelous conceit and an unavoidable fact. Twenty years ago, in my first published essay - provoked by an announcement that course work on Lolita couldn't count toward an American Civilization major - I suggested that while Nabokov might not wholly belong to the American literary tradition, some of his novels did. Today, the case for his Americanness seems more conclusive, whether one considers his knowledge of American culture, his effect upon it, his publications, his audience, or his citizenship. It is true, of course, that Nabokov grew up in Russia, studied French and Russian writers at Cambridge, and published nine Russian novels as an émigré author in Europe. But he was also raised in a cosmopolitan family, became fluent in English early, and steeped himself in American literature - especially after 1940, when he came to the United States.