Wyllie, Barbara. Vladimir Nabokov. 2010

Bibliographic title

Vladimir Nabokov

Publisher, city
Publication year

ISBN 9781861896605

Entry converted from: https://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/bibd.htm


‘I am almost exclusively a writer, and my style is all I have’, wrote Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977). Best known for his deeply controversial 1955 novel Lolita, Nabokov is celebrated as a prolific author and poet in both Russian and English. In Vladimir Nabokov, Barbara Wyllie presents an insightful account of the life and works of the writer, from his childhood and earliest poems, written in pre-Revolutionary Russia, to The Original of Laura - an unfinished novel first published posthumously in 2009.

This book investigates the author’s poetry and prose in both Russian and English, and examines the relationship between Nabokov’s extraordinary erudition and the themes that recur across the span of his works. His expertise as a specialist in butterflies complemented his wide knowledge of Russian and European culture, philosophy and history, and informed the themes of transformation and transcendence that dominate his work. Lifelong preoccupations with time, memory and mortality, as well as creativity and identity, are traced across Nabokov's poetry and prose while his distinctive style is illuminated through detailed analysis of the major texts. Wyllie assesses the work alongside the author’s own autobiography, letters and critical writings - as well as the recently released The Original of Laura - in order to create a complete and updated picture of the writer in the context of his works.

Vladimir Nabokov presents a fascinating portrait of one of the twentieth century’s most eclectic, prolific and controversial authors. An essential read for anyone studying Nabokov, it will also appeal to readers interested in twentieth-century English and Russian literature.