« In Nabokov and Indeterminacy, Priscilla Meyer shows how Vladimir Nabokov’s early novel The Real Life of Sebastian Knight illuminates his later work. Meyer first focuses on Sebastian Knight, exploring how Nabokov associates his characters with systems of subtextual references to Russian, British, and American literary and philosophical works. She then turns to Lolita and Pale Fire, applying these insights to show that these later novels clearly differentiate the characters through subtextual references, and that Sebastian Knight’s construction models that of Pale Fire.

Meyer argues that the dialogue Nabokov constructs among subtexts explores his central concern: the continued existence of the spirit beyond bodily death. She suggests that because Nabokov’s art was a quest for an unattainable knowledge of the otherworldly, knowledge which can never be conclusive, Nabokov’s novels are never closed in plot, theme, or resolution—they take as their hidden theme the unfinalizability that Bakhtin says characterizes all novels.

The conclusions of Nabokov’s novels demand a rereading, and each rereading yields a different novel. The reader can never get back to the same beginning, never attain a conclusion, and instead becomes an adept of Nabokov’s quest. Meyer emphasizes that, unlike much postmodern fiction, the contradictions created by Nabokov’s multiple paths do not imply that existence is constructed arbitrarily of pre-existing fragments, but rather that these fragments lead to an ever-deepening approach to the unknowable. »

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L’ouvrage Vladimir Nabokov et la France explore un espace de recherche vaste et peu balisé : l’invention de la France dans l’œuvre de Nabokov et l’étude interdisciplinaire de son héritage français. L’écrivain russo-américain a entretenu avec la langue et la culture françaises une relation riche et intense dont la complexité se dévoile dans ce volume, qui ouvre un nouveau champ dans les études nabokoviennes à la croisée de plusieurs disciplines (études américaines, comparées, françaises et slaves) et de plusieurs formations (linguistes, narratologues, philologues, traducteurs et artistes).

Par-delà les considérations biographiques, cet ouvrage met en lumière la nature des liens à double sens entre la culture française et l’œuvre de l’écrivain, à savoir la place du cadre géographique et culturel de la France dans son œuvre, celle des écrivains et textes français, son usage de la langue française, sa relation à la pensée française, et enfin sa postérité dans le paysage littéraire et artistique français. De manière significative, le choix du bilinguisme pour les articles publiés ici vise à dépasser la division linguistique de la critique nabokovienne en s’adressant aux lecteurs tant anglophones que francophones et, de manière plus profonde, à penser Nabokov dans les deux langues.

Sommaire :

Preface – The Haunted Enchanter
Brian Boyd

Yannicke Chupin, Agnès Edel-Roy, Monica Manolescu, Lara Delage-Toriel

I. L’Invention de la France et de l’Europe 
Michael Wood – Do you mind cutting out the French? Nabokov’s disinvention of Europe;
Julian W. Connolly – Fluid Spaces, Illusive Identities: Nabokov’s Depiction of France in the Late 1930s.

II. Intertextes français 
Susan Elizabeth Sweeney – Nabokov, Perrault, and Tales of Long Ago;
David Rampton – Allusions to French Literature in Nabokov’s Eugene Onegin: the Case of Voltaire;
Stanislav Shvabrin – Alfred de Musset, Vladimir Nabokov: The Invention of Exile;
Isabelle Poulin – Le vol de la mémoire. Vladimir Nabokov lecteur de Rimbaud et Mallarmé.

III. Langue française et modèles culturels français
Samuel Schuman – Monsieur Nabokov and Mademoiselle O;
Julie Loison-Charles – Les xénismes français dans Look at the Harlequins! : « ces clichés français sont-ils symptomatiques » ?;
Bénédicte Bintein – Le français, langue de la séduction fallacieuse dans l’œuvre de Vladimir Nabokov : une esthétique de l’ambiguïté;
Emily Eells – Proust, Nabokov and « the language of rainbows ».

IV. Nabokov et la pensée française
Leland de la Durantaye – Time in French, or Nabokov’s Mobile Image of Eternity;
Paul Grant – Blessing the Freak. Nabokov contra Bergson;
Lance Olsen – Not-Knowings: Debord’s Influence on Nabokov’s Real Life of Sebastian Knight.

V. Postérité de Nabokov et connivences contemporaines
Alisa Zhulina – Vladimir Nabokov and Alain Robbe-Grillet;
Alexia Gassin – Lolita, leitmotiv de l’œuvre de Serge Gainsbourg;
Anne-Marie Lafont – Apprendre autrement ou comment adapter Vladimir Nabokov au lycée.

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Los propósitos de este artículo son: i) analizar las relaciones de Vladimir Nabokov como autor multilingüe con la traducción al enfrentarse al exilio, y con la publicación de una de sus novelas en una lengua en que sabía escribir; ii) explorar las actitudes de Nabokov hacia la traducción en uno de sus libros, sus deseos de ser reconocido como autor y de pulir su estilo en la nueva lengua-cultura; iii) presentar factores como la identidad personal y cultural, y también las necesidades financieras de manera ligada al exilio y como elementos significativos en el proceso de traducción; iv) discutir el impacto de la reescritura en un autor alerta al reconocimiento internacional y en una búsqueda obvia  de nuevos valores estéticos. Nabokov no es un caso único, pero su situación y sus reacciones son suficientemente representativas de las dificultades que surgen al escribir en una lengua ajena.

The aims of this article are: i) to analyze the relations of Vladimir Nabokov as a multilingual author with translation when faced with exile and with the publication of one of his novels in a language in which he could write; ii) to explore Nabokov’s attitude towards the translation of one of his books, his desires to be recognized as an author and to polish his style in the new culturelanguage; iii) to present factors like personal and cultural identity, and also financial needs as linked to exile and as significant elements in the translating process; iv) to discuss the impact of rewriting in an author seeking international recognition and in an obvious quest for new aesthetic values. Nabokov is not a unique case, but his situation and reactions are quite representative of the difficulties raised when changing one’s language of composition.


« No marriage of a major twentieth-century writer is quite a51+5jsuCdCL._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_s beguiling as that of Vladimir Nabokov’s to Véra Slonim. She shared his delight in life’s trifles and literature’s treasures, and he rated her as having the best and quickest sense of humor of any woman he had met. From their first encounter in 1923, Vladimir’s letters to Véra form a narrative arc that tells a half-century-long love story, one that is playful, romantic, pithy and memorable. At the same time, the letters tell us much about the man and the writer. We see the infectious fascination with which Vladimir observed everything—animals, people, speech, the landscapes and cityscapes he encountered—and learn of the poems, plays, stories, novels, memoirs, screenplays and translations on which he worked ceaselessly. This delicious volume contains twenty-one photographs, as well as facsimiles of the letters themselves and the puzzles and doodles Vladimir often sent to Véra. »

Le lundi 13 novembre 2017, Sophie Bernard-Léger a soutenu sa thèse de doctorat, intitulée « La création de soi par soi : origine, identités, transgressions dans l’oeuvre de Vladimir Nabokov, Romain Gary et Philip Roth ».

Le jury était composé de Luba Jurgenson (directrice, Sorbonne Université), Carole Matheron (co-directrice, Université Paris 3), Isabelle Poulin (présidente, Université Bordeaux Montaigne), Laure Troubetzkoy (Sorbonne Université), Philippe Zard (Université Paris Nanterre), Yves-Charles Grandjeat (Université Bordeaux Montaigne).

About the book :

« Data meets literature in this “enlightening” (The Wall Street Journal), “brilliant” (The Boston Globe), “Nate Silver-esque” (O, The Oprah Magazine) look at what the numbers have to say about our favorite authors and their masterpieces.

There’s a famous piece of writing advice—offered by Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, and myriad writers in between—not to use -ly adverbs like “quickly” or “angrily.” It sounds like solid advice, but can we actually test it? If we were to count all the -ly adverbs these authors used in their careers, do they follow their own advice? What’s more, do great books in general—the classics and the bestsellers—share this trait?

In the age of big data we can answer questions like these in the blink of an eye. In Nabokov’s Favorite Word Is Mauve, a “literary detective story: fast-paced, thought-provoking, and intriguing” (Brian Christian, coauthor of Algorithms to Live By), statistician and journalist Ben Blatt explores the wealth of fun findings that can be discovered by using text and data analysis. He assembles a database of thousands of books and hundreds of millions of words, and then he asks the questions that have intrigued book lovers for generations: What are our favorite authors’ favorite words? Do men and women write differently? Which bestselling writer uses the most clichés? What makes a great opening sentence? And which writerly advice is worth following or ignoring?

All of Blatt’s investigations and experiments are original, conducted himself, and no math knowledge is needed to enjoy the book. On every page, there are new and eye-opening findings. By the end, you will have a newfound appreciation of your favorite authors and also come away with a fresh perspective on your own writing. “Blatt’s new book reveals surprising literary secrets” (Entertainment Weekly) and casts an x-ray through literature, allowing us to see both the patterns that hold it together and the brilliant flourishes that allow it to spring to life. »



Description de l’éditeur : « Vladimir Nabokov et sa femme Véra se sont rencontrés en 1923, à Berlin, où leurs familles respectives avaient fui le pouvoir bolchevique. Tout au long du demi-siècle que dure leur mariage, ils ne sont séparés que rarement, mais alors il lui écrit chaque jour  : ainsi quand Véra part se soigner dans un sanatorium de la Forêt Noire, quand Vladimir rend visite à sa famille réfugiée à Prague, où quand Véra tarde à le rejoindre à Paris. Plus tard, ses conférences dans le Sud des États-Unis suscitent de nouvelles lettres. Dans toute cette correspondance, pour nous à sens unique – Véra ayant détruit ses propres lettres –,  on voit la passion de Nabokov pour sa femme, sa vie quotidienne dans le milieu de l’émigration russe à Berlin, les bouleversements auxquels tous deux sont confrontés dans leur vie matérielle et affective, le dénuement qui est le sien lors de ses débuts à Paris, l’intérêt croissant suscité par son œuvre auprès des éditeurs et d’un public éclairé, le soutien indéfectible que lui apporte Véra.
Ces lettres, outre ce qu’elles révèlent sur l’homme, nous font découvrir le laboratoire de l’écrivain – son énergie créatrice, la pléthore de sujets qui surgissent et disparaissent, l’intensité de son travail – et on y reconnaît l’originalité de son style : sa veine parodique, poétique, sa vivacité et ses jeux de mots. »

Rapporté à la notion de traduction qui s’invente à la Renaissance en même temps que le roman moderne, ou aux menaces de mort pesant sur des écrivains, le transport romanesque révèle la force d’un art du langage sans frontières – étudié dans cet ouvrage, de Nabokov à Rabelais, Cervantes, Sterne, Proust et Calvino.

Vous pouvez consulter la table des matières ici.

9781787072916This book argues that ideology is a prism through which the work of Vladimir Nabokov needs to be considered. It is thus the first attempt to foreground questions of ideology and politics within a field that has historically been resistant to such readings.

The perception of Nabokov as an apolitical writer is one which the author encouraged throughout the latter part of his career in his non-fictional writings and in the small number of well-rehearsed interviews that he gave. When questions of ideology and politics have arisen in scholarship, they have only been featured in passing or have merely re-confirmed the author’s self-designation as an «old-fashioned liberal». When we consider that Nabokov lived through some of the most traumatic historical ruptures of the past century then this lack of reference to ideology in the critical literature appears quite revealing.

Through the analysis of works which have previously received little attention as well as new perspectives on better known works, this book demonstrates how ideology and politics were ever-present and had an indelible effect on Nabokov’s literary aesthetics.

Article du Times disponible ici.

Article du Guardian disponible ici.