Vladimir Nabokov | Critical Essay by Nora Buhks

This literature criticism consists of approximately 10 pages of analysis & critique of Vladimir Nabokov.
This section contains 2,727 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: “Nabokov and Dostoevskii: Aesthetic Demystification,” translated by Arnold McMillin, in Russian Writers on Russian Writers, edited by Faith Wigzell, Berg Publishers, 1994, pp. 131-37.

In the following essay, Buhks discusses Nabokov's ambivalent critique of Dostoevski.

Nabokov's characterisation of Dostoevskii was both harsh and eccentric. With unwavering insistence throughout his whole life—in correspondence, conversation, interviews, lectures and in his own novels (Despair, The Gift and Look at the Harlequins!)—Nabokov called Dostoevskii ‘a mediocre writer of mystery stories’.1 The shockingness of this judgement has often drawn sharp reactions,2 been taken as an aesthetic provocation, and, in the context of Nabokov's literary behaviour as a whole, been deemed more of an artistic pose than an artistic position.3

Nabokov did not write much about Dostoevskii. We know two early verses, a lecture in Russian entitled ‘Dostoevskii without dostoevshchina...

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This section contains 2,727 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Nora Buhks
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Essay by Nora Buhks from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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