Numano, Mitsuyoshi. On Stylistic Exuberance: The Gift as a Russian Novel. 2010

Bibliographic title
On Stylistic Exuberance: The Gift as a Russian Novel
Periodical or collection
Revising Nabokov Revising: Proceedings of the International Nabokov Conference
Publication year

Numano (University of Tokyo) focuses on the “stylistic exuberance” of The Gift, which became all the more blatant as he was translating the novel into Japanese so as to make Nabokov’s masterpiece in Russian available to Japanese readers. Mitsuyoshi Numano explained how the syntactical constraints of the Japanese language rendered the task of translating Nabokov’s long and convoluted sentences, frequently resorting to relative pronouns and participles, excruciatingly difficult. Translating the abundant alliterations and assonances of Nabokov’s text also proved complicated, especially as in Japanese such stylistic ornaments do not sound as poetic and elegant as they do in Russian. [MB]