Bernard, Sophie. A Poetics of Mobility in The Gift. 2021

Bibliographic title
A Poetics of Mobility in The Gift
Periodical or collection
Nabokov Online Journal
Periodical issue
v. 15
Publication year

The paper shows how mobility constitutes one of the novel's essential paradigms and a point of convergence between space and memory, history and geography. Not only does the diegesis deals with the protagonist's traversals and transgressions in Berlin and in the Russian property of Lechino, but the enunciation itself, by its instability, reveals the unfinished metamorphic process of a transgressive writing. In this process, the numerous evocations of walking appear to be a major theme: from the mental stroll between mother and son to Fiodor's footsteps through which he can measure his feeling of Russianness, identity is viewed as a reflexive and dynamic construction that provides Fiodor with various ways to resuscitate a vanished past in his writing.