Vladimir Nabokov: Volume 2 (Collected Critical Heritage)

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Such a matter of taste. But to go through Russian prose literature with him--Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Gorki and Chekhov--is certainly an entertaining, intellectual exercise I haven't enjoyed so much in a very long time. View all 3 comments. This is a compilation of Vladimir Nabokov's lectures given when he was a professor at Wellesley and Cornell in the s and s.

I would highly recommend it if you have read any of the authors he covers Chekhov, Dostoevski, Gogol, Gorki, Tolstoy, and Turgenev. The treatment of Anna Karenina is especially thorough and delightful. These are not lectures in the academic sense that you will be exposed to critical trends and philosophical arguments raised by the texts in question. They are extrem This is a compilation of Vladimir Nabokov's lectures given when he was a professor at Wellesley and Cornell in the s and s. They are extremely accessible and typeset in a comfortably large size.

Notes on Prosody and Abram Gannibal by Vladimir Nabokov, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Nabokov offers some interesting biographical details about the authors, but he does not even mess with their philosophies or beliefs or their sociocultural milieu. Nabokov's basic approach to literature is as a passionate reader. His recurring theme is that "literature belongs not to the department of general ideas but to the department of specific words and images," and this is what his lectures focus on.

He offers floor plans of railway cars and pictures of the characters' clothing. He carefully sets forth the chronology of the characters' actions.

Vladimir Nabokov

He analyzes the way the authors write, often reading sizeable excerpts from their books. And he lavishes his own dramatic opinions upon his hearers. Nabokov is a matchless guide through Russian literature. Not only does he know the country and the language as a native Russian, but he is a virtuoso writer in English.

Here is one example of the sprightly wordplay that appears in his lectures: One peculiar feature of Tolstoy's style is what I shall term the "groping purist. This involves what we might call creative repetitions, a compact series of repetitive statements, coming one immediately after the other, each more expressive, each closer to Tolstoy's meaning. He gropes, he unwraps the verbal parcel for its inner sense, he peels the apple of the phrase, he tries to say it one way, then a better way, he gropes, he stalls, he toys, he Tolstoys with words.

The best professors are the ones who clearly love what they are teaching. You can check this out from the library and enjoy one of the best literature courses in history for free. By the way, Nabokov's lectures on non-Russian literature are published in a separate volume. If you haven't read any Russian literature in recent memory, I would recommend that volume equally highly. Jan 02, Katja rated it liked it Shelves: ru , kindle , non-fiction. Disappointedly superficial and biased in many places.

Sentences like "forget about ideas" or "literature is all about style" are scattered all over the place without any convincing argumentation -- the reason is, of course, that it is style but never ideas that you find in Nabokov's own work. The chapters on Dostoyevsky are embarrassing and unbelievably biased. Fantastic and "crazy" characters are charming in Gogol's stories but become annoying and stupid in Dostoyevsky's. Tolstoy Disappointedly superficial and biased in many places.

Tolstoy sincerely repented his sins whereas Dostoyevsky was a liar and a hypocrite. How does he know it? He just does. The comparative praise of Gorky and his virtues is another mystery of the lectures. The bottom line: you won't learn much about Russian literature from these lectures. Instead you will understand more about how to read and appreciate Nabokov's novels. A very personal and opinionated survey of Russian literature. But, of course, it is Nabokov's opinions, so worth reading. He thinks that Dostoevsky's characters are all mentally ill.

He has no understanding or appreciation of what Dostoevsky might be doing with his writing in ways that are theological or psychological o A very personal and opinionated survey of Russian literature. He has no understanding or appreciation of what Dostoevsky might be doing with his writing in ways that are theological or psychological or philosophical. So I read it along with reading the novel.

Of course he's opinionated, not to say dismissive. That can be entertaining, especially if you're not a big fan of Dostoevsky either. But he's also genuinely interested in describing why and showing how Tolstoy and Gogol and Chekhov are great. I don't need him to convince me about Tolstoy, but now I'm headed back to give Turgenev and Chekhov another try. If his strong opinions are too much for you sometimes, just think how his head would have exploded if he'd known that these unedited lectures w Of course he's opinionated, not to say dismissive.


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If his strong opinions are too much for you sometimes, just think how his head would have exploded if he'd known that these unedited lectures would have been cobbled together with leftover essays, part of his unpublished book on Anna Karenina and his published one on Gogol, and then slung out there.

I'm glad they were. Oct 16, Ivana rated it really liked it. If I remember well, I immensely enjoyed this book. I prefer reading over reading about reading, that is I prefer literature to literary criticism. That being said, I really enjoyed reading Nabokov's opinions.

Not that I agree with him in everything, but I think he is on to something most of the time. Go home, Nabokov, you're drunk. Apr 20, Evan Chow rated it it was amazing. Literary criticism is itself a work of art, and here Nabokov achieves both beautifully.

Oct 09, Hamish rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , lit. Not as good as the other volume, but still worth reading. The other Lectures of Literature book is a survey of seven novels that N admires. Generally the novels he dislikes get a more cursory examination. And since the sections weren't always as thorough, I was left wanting a bit more. For example, in The Death of Ivan Not as good as the other volume, but still worth reading.

For example, in The Death of Ivan Ilych which he likes, btw he points out some aspects of Tolstoy's style he likes, but then doesn't provide any examples. The Gogol section also seemed a little useless, as N spent most of it pointing out aspects of Gogol's style that should be obvious to anyone with half a brain, and then he spends half of the Dead Souls section explaining why it's a good thing that Gogol burned part 2 and never started part 3 though he makes a good case.

However, his take-down of Dostoevsky even if I disagree and Gorky which I agree with are good fun, and he has nice insights on Turgenev and Chekhov.

Vladimir Nabokov

Worth getting, but start with Lectures On Literature first. What a delight, to read one of my favorite authors holding court over the rest of my favorite authors notably, Tolstoy and Chekhov. These lectures -- sometimes delivered to Nabokov's university students, sometimes a collection of his thoughts, remarks, and quibbles -- are a pleasure to read. They are, however, more enjoyable if you have recently read or are currently reading the texts discussed. Nabokov has a habit of wandering off into lengthy discussions of particular passages, which is not What a delight, to read one of my favorite authors holding court over the rest of my favorite authors notably, Tolstoy and Chekhov.

Nabokov has a habit of wandering off into lengthy discussions of particular passages, which is not particularly interesting or instructive unless you're in the middle of the book at hand. Delighted to have my love of Tolstoy and Chekhov reinforced by him; a bit surprised at how much he despises Dostoyevsky and considers him to be a cheap, overly moralizing hack, but he makes some strong arguments as to why it is difficult to regard Dostoyevsky as a gifted artist when he's held up for comparison with the likes of Tolstoy and Chekhov.

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All in all: charming, blunt, instructive criticism. I was interested in a non-fiction book about Russian literature and its interpretations. Nabokov seemed to be a good choice, being both a brilliant writer and also thinker. He provides exciting insights into Russian literature luminaries - Tolstoy, Gogol, Turgenev and others. What I found difficult is that it is too much Nabokov as a writer in his lectures, with his very passionate and absolutely biased point of view, his proprietary writing style, using which he seems to overshadow and undermin I was interested in a non-fiction book about Russian literature and its interpretations.

What I found difficult is that it is too much Nabokov as a writer in his lectures, with his very passionate and absolutely biased point of view, his proprietary writing style, using which he seems to overshadow and undermine his prominent fellow countrymen.

Nabokov Critical Heritage, First Edition

He has his favorites and go as far as to provide rating for the Russian writers, starting with Tolstoy to Gogol and to Chekhov. And this is how he reviews the heritage of the writers - through lens of his own subjectivity. His bias, therefore, leads him to review in very shallow manner Turgenev or Dostoevsky while also demonstrating deep disdain to Soviet writers.

It is generally deserved but with some prominent exceptions like Sholokhov or Pasternak which he decided not to mention at all. Overall, Nabokov's lectures are an thoughtful read providing food for thought rather than objective overview of the Russian literary heritage. Aug 17, Erik rated it liked it. This is exactly the treat you think it is going to be, but it exhibits all of the faults of having a celebrity professor teach you a subject. What Nabokov offers is, of course, his informed opinion as a scholar, artist and not least as a Russian among Russians, but it is still the opinion of an confirmed aesthete and elitist.

How else can he blithely disregard the contextual, the messy social and historical and, yes, political conditions behind Russian literature, merely to pronounce in favor of This is exactly the treat you think it is going to be, but it exhibits all of the faults of having a celebrity professor teach you a subject. How else can he blithely disregard the contextual, the messy social and historical and, yes, political conditions behind Russian literature, merely to pronounce in favor of l'art pour l'art? Because he is Nabokov, of course, and because he is typically 'Slav'-ish in his worship of aesthetics and refusal to sully it with the temporal conditions under which such art is produced.

Probably because those conditions are typically so bad. So, will you learn anything about the Russian soul from this book? Maybe in a back handed way, I suppose. The only great insightful work I have ever read about the Russian character is also actually by another Slav, Conrad, in Under Western Eyes. Mar 12, Yasin rated it did not like it. An excellent example of a great writer and a horrible critic. View 1 comment. Aug 27, Daniel Warren rated it really liked it.

As lectures these writings on Russian authors are somewhat disorganized and incomplete as they were never really adapted for book publication. They would make an excellent starting point for a personal more comprehensive study of the Russian authors, especially Gogol, Dostoevski, Tolstoy and Checkov. However, even outside the classroom they can still be read for their insights and comments on literature, writers, writing and all things Russian.

An iambic foot cannot be illustrated by a word unless that word is part of a specific iambic line. An iambic foot can be illustrated by signs only insofar as these signs are made to express the maximal four variations in which an iambic foot actually appears in verse:.

An ordinary iambic foot i. Any such foot belongs to one of the following types with the basic metrical stress marked -, and the variable word accent ' :. We speak of an "accent" in relation to a word and of a "stress" in relation to a metrical foot. A "scud" is an unaccented stress. When inverse a weak monosyllabic word i. If an accented syllable in speech be notated ', and a stress accent in verse [??

A scud can occur in any foot of any metrical line but is far more frequent in double-semeion meters or "binaries" iambs and trochees than in triple-semeion meters or "ternaries" anapaests, aniphibrachs, and dactyls.

We shall be mainly concerned with scuds in the iambic tetrameter. Monosyllables that are of comparatively minor importance articles, prepositions, etc. Between a typical weak monosyllable such as "the" and an indubitably accented one such as querulous "why" , there are gradations and borderline cases "while," "when," "had," etc.

I have disregarded them in my percentile calculations. Semiscuds are not frequent enough in either English or Russian to affect numerical results when dealing with relatively small samples say, fifty lines per poet. A special study of scuds, however, should take into account the fact that if we examine such Russian or English dipodies as:.

Among indubitably scudded monosyllables the most obvious ones are: "a," "an," "and," "as," "at," "but," "for," "from," "if," "in," "like," "of," "on," "or," "the," "to," etc. The scudding of such particles as "all," "no," "not," "was," etc.


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Similarly, in Russian, obvious and unquestionable scuds are: dlya "for" , do "till" , i "and" , na "on" , ne "not," a word that should never be accented in good Russian , no "but" , ot "from" , po "along" , pod "under" , u "at" , etc. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Seller Inventory GRP More information about this seller Contact this seller 2. More information about this seller Contact this seller 3. Condition: Good. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside.

More information about this seller Contact this seller 4. Hardcover with jacket. First edition. Light scores and edgwear to the jacket. Some minor bumps and wear to the hardcover edges. Faint marks on page block. Penned notes on the reverse of BEP. The pages are clean; all content is clear. More information about this seller Contact this seller 5. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Sunned spine, jacket flaps pasted to boards so jacket cannot be removed.

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