Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0004382, Sun, 12 Sep 1999 19:29:09 -0700

Re: VN BIBLIOGRAPHY: First Korean book on VN (fwd)
> From: Professor Hyo-Yun Yun, Dept. of English
> Hong-Ik University
> Sangsu-dong, Mapo-gu
> Seoul 121-791
> Republic of Korea
> (Home) +822 2647 1327
> (School) +822 320 1771
> (E-mail)
> yhyo@wow.hongik.ac.kr
> Author: Hyo-Yun Yun.
> Title: Vladimir Nabokov's English Novels: A Study of Their Structural Layers
> Publisher: Hanshin Publishing Co. in Seoul, Korea
> Year: 1999, pp. 240 pages ISBN89-348-0553-6(93840)
> Preface -- Chronology -- Chap. 1: The Study of Novels by Their
> Structural Layers -- Chap. 2: 'Foregrounding' by Sound Patterns -- Chap.
> 3: Linguistic Patterns -- Chap. 4: 'Foregrounding' by Narrative
> Devices -- Chap. 5: The Aesthetics of Consciousness -- Appendix: The
> Structure of Lolita -- Bibliography -- Index
> Nabokov's fiction self-consciously and systematically draws attention to
> its status as artifact. In Chapter One I argue that the
> self-reflective and playful quality of his novels is best explained in
> terms of 'ostranenie' (defamiliarization) and foregrounding of the text
> -- related concepts from Russian formalism and the Prague School of
> linguistics that explain the formalistic character of a novel. Roman
> Ingarden's model of structural layers of the literary work provides a good
> framework to show how specifically these layers reveal [reveal] themselves
> in Nabokov's eight English novels. According to Ingarden, a literary
> work has a stratified structure that includes not only such linguistic
> strata sound and meaning units but also such non-linguistic strata as
> "schematized aspects" and "represented objects". Metaphysical qualities
> may constitute a separate stratum or may reveal themselves in the
> stratum of "represented objects". The structure of Nabokov's fiction
> discloses its peculiarities according to the structural layers of
> sounds, words used, and narrative units. Lastly the content and the
> meaning of his oeuvre must be considered so as to define the author's
> ultimate aesthetic stance towards his work.
> The patterning of an utterance is best observed in the sound
> patterns. Chapter Two discusses the repetition of phonemes in the
> orchestration of Nabokov's prose. Rhyme, alliteration, assonance and
> consonance are used independently or in combination to 'foreground' the
> language used in his fiction. Four types of sound combinations are
> examined.
> The use of word in Nabokov's fiction self-consciously draws the
> reader's attention to its status as artifact. When the language is
> foregrounded, it gives us the effect of 'defamiliarization.' Chapter Three
> deals with the foregrounding of words best observed in the various types
> of linguistic patterning that constitute the linguistic layer of Nabokov's
> fiction. The author's verbal consciousness is analyzed according to the
> three types of linguistic patterning: 1) The use of puns creating
> semantic tension between manifest and latent meaning in phonetically
> similar words; 2) the use of allusions that convey to the reader
> additional cultural and literary significance; and lastly 3) the use of
> proper nouns involving puns, allusions and other patterning devices.
> Chapter Four concentrates on the narrative structure of Nabokov's
> fiction in terms of of Roman Ingarden's "schematized aspects" and deals
> with narrative devices such as 'ostranenie,' extensively studied by the
> Russian formalists. Parody is the first of Nabokov's narrative devices
> used to foreground the text on the narrative level. Next we examine
> authorial intrusion as a device drawing attention to the novel as an
> artifact. The third section deals with the laying bare of narrative
> devices represented by Nabokov's parenthetical method of description. The
> narrative techniques of 'skaz' and retardation are also examined in this
> connection. The last section focuses on the patterning of themes. This
> concerns the recurrences, correspondences and coincidences of various
> elements in the novels that make the reader conscious of the controlling
> hand. All of these devices help destroy the effect of fictional
> verisimilitude.
> After considering the dangers of a self-referential novel with its
> solipsist tendencies, the last chapter treats each of Nabokov's English
> novels from the point of content. The conflict between the claim that
> there is nothing in Nabokov's fiction but the beauty of form and the claim
> that his fiction concerns itself with serious content may be explained by
> the author's aesthetics of consciousness. It may be argued that Nabokov's
> fiction is essentially the reflection of the author's consciousness in
> three ways: First, his fiction-making is interpreted as a means of escape
> from time on the part of a mortal being all too aware of death. Second,
> the patterning and ordering in the structure of his fiction point to the
> author's conscious act. Third, there is still another kind of
> consciousness in that the author is conscious that he is aware of the
> limits of time while engaged in the conscious act of his fiction-making.
> This final consciousness is what makes Nabokov rigorously distinguish
> life's contingent existence from art's inhuman privileges. It is this
> consciousness that give his novels distinctive moral stature. He is a
> novelist for whom human values always come first.