Magician's Doubts Nabokav and the Risks of Fiction

ISBN-10: 0691048304

ISBN-13: 9780691048307

Edition: 1997

Authors: Michael Wood

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Description:

As a child in Russia, Vladimir Nabokov enjoyed conjuring: "I loved doing simple tricks--turning water into wine, that kind of thing." In this engrossing book Michael Wood explores the blend of arrogance and mischief that makes Nabokov such a fascinating and elusive master of fiction. Wood argues that Nabokov is neither the aesthete he liked to pretend to be nor the heavy-handed moralist recent critics make him. Major works likePnin, Lolita, Pale FireandAdaappear in a new light, but there are also chapters on earlier works, likethe Real Life of Sebastian Knight; on selected short stories; and on the translation ofEugene Onegin,as well as detailed discussions of Nabokov's ideas of literature, memory, pity, and pain. The book comes fully to terms with Nabokov's blend of playfulness and seriousness, delving into the real delight of reading him and the odd disquiet that lurks beneath that pleasure. Wood's speculations spin outward to illuminate the ambiguities and aspirations of the modern novel, and to raise the question of how we uncover "the author" in a work, without falling into the obvious biographical traps.The Magician's Doubtsslices through the dustier conventions of criticism and never loses sight of the emotional and sensual pleasure of reading.
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Book details

List price: $32.95
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 1/18/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 260
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Acknowledgements
Preface: Tricks of Loss
Deaths of the Author
Lost Souls: The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
The Cruelty of Chance: Bend Sinister, 'Signs and Symbols', 'The Vane Sisters'
The World Without Us: Speak, Memory
The Language of Lolita
The Poem of the Past: Eugene Onegin
Pnin's Revenge
The Demons of our Pity: Pale Fire
Happy Families: Ada
Epilogue: the History of Pain
Chronology: Works by Vladimir Nabokov in English
Notes
Index
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