Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0004584, Wed, 17 Nov 1999 10:07:49 -0800

D. Barton Johnson
University of California at Santa Barbara

"Nabokov and British Literature (1900-1930)"

Nabokov tended to deny not merely the "influence" of particular literary
figures but of entire literary cultures, e.g., Germany. In particular, the
various versions of his autobiographies describe his English years in
London and Cambridge as a period devoted entirely toward recuperating a
lost Russia -- to the point that he was virtually unaware of his immediate
literary environment. My paper demonstrates that the young Nabokov was in
fact very much aware of the contemporary English literary scene.
My paper examines his relationship with Rupert Brooke and Walter de la
Mare and suggest how they are refracted in Nabokov's writings of the
twenties. There are also side glances at other British writers of the