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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’s Afterlife

Nabokov’s Afterlife

(p.66) 7. Nabokov’s Afterlife
Stalking Nabokov

Brain Boyd

Columbia University Press

In this chapter, the author talks about the relationship between Vladimir Nabokov's imagination, as seen in his writing, and his ethics, metaphysics, and psychology. Don Barton Johnson, the leading American Nabokovian of his day, felt that the metaphysics was almost superfluous icing on the Nabokovian cake. At the Nabokov centenary conference in Cambridge in 1999—where Zoran Kuzmanovich asked about the place of the metaphysics in Nabokov—Jane Grayson, the conference organizer, invited a concluding discussion on future directions in Nabokov scholarship. Johnson and the author addressed Kuzmanovich's question. Here the author argues that Nabokov does not only see and realize in his fiction both the freedom and the confinement of the ego, but his imagination also tries to look at and, again, to realize human life not only from within but from without. He also considers Nabokov's notion of the “other” world he suspects surrounds the one we see.

Keywords:   imagination, Vladimir Nabokov, ethics, metaphysics, psychology, Don Barton Johnson, fiction, ego, human life, other world

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