Vladimir Nabokov Writing Styles in Invitation to a Beheading

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Most of Nabokov's novel is told from a third person semi-omniscient point of view, from the perspective of Cincinnatus. Most of the characters are unreal, cardboard cutout imitations of people. Cincinnatus calls them "parodies." His perspective is the point of view of the novel because it is the only valid perspective among all the superficial, unreal characters. Any thoughts or emotions that the other characters possess are hidden under layers of artifice built up by societal expectations.

The novel moves into first person when Cincinnatus writes down his thoughts and ideas. However, Cincinnatus's words are halting, uncertain, and disjointed. They often flow into elongated sentences twisting into exaggerated paragraphs full of disparate thoughts and ellipses. In these first person passages, Cincinnatus is attempting to express his inner self and make a connection with some unknown and unimaginable reader. Cincinnatus is unable to make connections with the...

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This section contains 996 words
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