Anderson, Terry P. A Formal Analysis of the Theme of Art in Nabokov's Russian Novels. 1973

Bibliographic title

A Formal Analysis of the Theme of Art in Nabokov's Russian Novels

Publication year

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (1899-) has been one of the least understood and consequently most poorly acknowledged major writers of the twentieth century. Critics trained on the tenets of formalist criticism have not known what to make of works containing no didactic import. They have consequently been unsuccessful in discerning Nabokov's primary theme. This thesis attempts to refute the basis of contemporary criticism and show that Nabokov's fiction is outstanding art. Of the many themes in his work, one feels that the image of the artist is the most significant. An attempt had been made to explicate this theme in two of his Russian novels. Separate chapters deal with biographical information, Nabokov's artistic aim, and his artifice. These chapters serve to explain the author's choice of theme, as weIl as form a basis for a better understanding of his art and the presentation of his theme in the two chosen novels.