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Stalking Nabokov$
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Brian Boyd

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231158572

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231158572.001.0001

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Stacks of Stories, Stories of Stacks

Stacks of Stories, Stories of Stacks

(p.123) 11. Stacks of Stories, Stories of Stacks
Stalking Nabokov

Brain Boyd

Columbia University Press

This chapter is the author's Frederic Alden Warren Lecture delivered at Trinity College, University of Toronto, in 2010. He talks about Vladimir Nabokov's relation to evolution and the ways libraries feature in his fiction. He also considers what the long perspective of evolution can suggest about the past and future of stories—and multi-story library stacks; how stories—and the libraries that stack up more stories than any mind can hold—preserve and generate knowledge and imagination; how stories and libraries will stack up in the digital age; Nabokov's misgivings about natural selection; and some of the main assumptions of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Stories about functions that derive from stories as cognitive play with patterns of social information. Finally, he explores why, from an evolutionary perspective, libraries store fictions and scriptures as well as nonfictions in their stacks.

Keywords:   evolution, Vladimir Nabokov, libraries, fiction, stories, library stacks, natural selection, Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Stories, nonfiction

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