Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0003460, Mon, 2 Nov 1998 15:38:45 -0800

Re: Nabokov and women (fwd)

From: Marilyn Edelstein, Dept. of English, Santa Clara University, CA

I chaired an MLA session, sponsored by the Nabokov Society, in 1991 on
"Feminist Approaches to Nabokov." I can't find my file at the moment,
but 2 of the 3 papers focused on women in VN's work (the third looked
at gender issues in PALE FIRE, specifically Kinbote's homosexuality).
If I can find my file, I can post the names/presenters for the other
2 papers. One of the pivotal essays exploring women in Nabokov
concerns Lolita: Linda Kauffman's "Framing Lolita: Is There a
Woman in the Text?" (first pub. in 1989, rpt. 1992, and most recently
in Harold Bloom's edited collection of LOLITA criticism, called
LOLITA (Chelsea House, New York, 1993). There's some other feminist
work looking at VN's treatment of women characters (most often,
Lolita); two people I know have given conference papers but
I'm not sure whether the work has been published: Colleen Kennedy,
and Khani Begum. Other list members may have further info. to
provide. For a host of reasons (incl. Nabokov's own persona
and effect on critics), there hasn't been very much feminist work
on Nabokov yet (although certainly one can examine his women
characters in a non-feminist way). Marilyn Edelstein