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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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Nabokov, Pushkin, Shakespeare

Nabokov, Pushkin, Shakespeare

Genius, Generosity, and Gratitude in The Gift and Pale Fire

(p.203) 15. Nabokov, Pushkin, Shakespeare
Stalking Nabokov

Brain Boyd

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines Vladimir Nabokov's sense of the life-giving and almost eerie reverberations of William Shakespeare within English and Aleksandr Pushkin with Russian literature. In particular, it considers the relation between parent and child that Nabokov combines with the influence of Pushkin and Shakespeare in The Gift and Pale Fire. Shakespeare strews his plays with portents; Pushkin probes his life for fatidic dates; but no writer can have been more fascinated by patterns in time than Nabokov. Nabokov's sense of the unique creative legacy Pushkin leaves in Russian and Shakespeare leaves in English literature results in a series of extraordinary parallels running through The Gift and Pale Fire. In each novel, Nabokov creates artists who despite their frustrations and losses sense the ultimate bountifulness of things.

Keywords:   novel, Vladimir Nabokov, William Shakespeare, Aleksandr Pushkin, Russian literature, The Gift, Pale Fire, English literature

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