Reading Nabokov (Ideally) (Nabokov olvasószeminárium (Ideally)) in spring 2015
Sárdi Rudolf, Tue 16:00–17:30, R423, host: DES (R338)
3-credit lecture, 30 h/term; strong prereq: BBN-ANG-211 213 215
description & set texts
The aim of this survey course is to introduce the works of Vladimir Nabokov, the writer whose devious wit, intoxicating verbal bravura, and artful use of both Russian and English have fascinated generations of readers. In addition to our close-reading of five of his short stories and five pieces of longer fiction (Pnin, Lolita, Despair, Invitation to a Beheading, some chapter from Ada), our sessions will also be devoted, in equal proportions, to the discussion of the themes as follows: modernism vs postmodernism, dislocation and exile, manipulation with narrative levels, verbal extravagance, translation and self-translation, the prevalence of the otherworld, sexuality, morality as well as the role of time and memory.


Alexandrov, Vladimir E, ed. The Garland Companion to Vladimir Nabokov. New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1995.

———. Nabokov’s Otherworld. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991.

Boyd, Brian. Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991.

———. Vladimir Nabokov: The Russian Years. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990.

Pifer, Ellen. Nabokov and the Novel. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981.

Shrayer, Maxim D. The World of Nabokov’s Stories. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1999.

requirements & assessment
Students are required to come to class fully prepared by reading the set texts and completing some occasional home assignments. Active participation in the group discussions is a must. One short presentation on a topic of your choice OR one final home paper (5 pages, double-spaced) AND an end-term oral exam (30% + 70%). Absences: departmental regulations apply. Late arrivals and early departures are not tolerated. Electrosmog is invisible, harmful, and everywhere. In order to reduce the risk of being affected by electrosmog, please keep your phones and other mobile devices switched off during class.