Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000257, Tue, 17 May 1994 16:24:30 -0700

Nabokov and My Thesis (fwd)
I am passing this letter on to NABOKV-L. I ask that responses to Ms.
Cotugno be sent directly to her at COTUGNO@ZODIAC.BITNET.
DBJ, Editor
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 17 May 1994 17:34:59 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Nabokov and My Thesis

Dr. Johnson,
Though I am addressing this note to you, I welcome any input from subscribers.
I am going to write my senior thesis on Nabokov, and though I would
like to work with his fictional biographies written originally in
English (_The Real Life of Sebastian Knight_,_Pnin_, and _Look at the
Harlequins!_) I am unsure of where to go. I am interested in
Nabokov's narrative technique, and I think the relationship between
the narrator and subject in each of these three novels is unique
and worth exploring. However, I am unfamiliar with critical theory
dealing with narrative technique and the novel. Someone suggested I
read the third essay of Bakhtin's _The Dialogic Imagination_, but I
am trying to read each essay and have only completed the first which
concerns the epic and the novel. I don't know if Bakhtin will take me
where I want to go (though I am enjoying what I am reading).

I am also interested in the reader's relationship to Nabokov's
works and how Nabokov's narrators figure in that equation. An immediate
example is how Nabokov's use of Humbert Humbert as narrator of Lolita
affects the reader's response to the novel. However, I would like
to stay with Nabokov's fictional biographies (if possible) and use
critical texts in my analysis of his work. If anyone can provide
any suggestions, criticisms, etc... I ask that if possible you contact
me privately (cotugno@pisces.rutgers.edu). Even if someone can
suggest some literary critics I should look into, I would be most
appreciative. I am aware generally of the criticism done on Nabokov
because I wrote a seminar paper on the concept of identity in the
Real Life of Sebastian Knight, but would welcome any help.

Thank you.

Marianne Cotugno