Vladimir Nabokov’s extraordinary literary career, as a master of Russian and English prose, is unique. Acclaimed in the limited Russian émigré world, under the name of Sirin, Nabokov switched to writing in English and settled in America, a refugee from Hitler’s Europe. Exile, memory, lost love and the magic of childhood are among his themes; stylistic and structural dexterity are his hallmarks; Lolita (ranked number 4 in the 1998 New York Modern Library list of 100 best novels of the century published in English) enabled him to retire to a final and productive period of European residence. Film versions of his most controversial novel keep Nabokov’s name before the public, while almost his entire oeuvre remains currently available in paperback. Neil Cornwell’s study, published for the Nabokov centenary, examines five of Nabokov’s major novels, plus his short stories and critical writings, situating his work against the ever-expanding mass of VN scholarship, and noting his cultural debt to Russia, Europe, America and the British Isles.
Neil Cornwell is Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature, Department of Russian Studies, University of Bristol. He is editor of Reference Guide to Russian Literature (1998) and the author of a number of books, including The Literary Fantastic (1990) and James Joyce and the Russians (1992).
216 × 138 mm
January 5, 1999
Writers and their Work