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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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Who Is “My Nabokov”?

Who Is “My Nabokov”?

(p.19) 3. Who Is “My Nabokov”?
Stalking Nabokov

Brain Boyd

Columbia University Press

In this chapter, the author talks about his unique association with Vladimir Nabokov. He recalls reading the Nabokov novel Lolita for the first time and how it has mystified him. He also read Pale Fire, Ada, and the autobiography Speak, Memory. By the time he was seventeen and writing on Pale Fire the author says he was already growing a patchy beard. Twenty-five years later, he decided to shave it off and was surprised to see in the mirror what seemed to be his father's face looking back in surprise at the resemblance. John Shade in the poem “Pale Fire” writes about the inspiration that comes to him as he shaves, and as the author now shaves each morning, that passage from canto 4 will be more likely than not to spring to his mind. That's how close his Nabokov can be.

Keywords:   poem, novel, Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, Pale Fire, Ada, Speak, Memory

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