Despair by Vladimir Nabokov: the Transcendental Nature of the Narrative and Power of a Symbolic Language

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The article aims at providing critical analysis of reviews related to the study of the
novel Despair by V. Nabokov. It is stated in this article that the idea of “the murder of
the double” doesn’t correlate with concrete action, psychological perversion, or the
irony of the writer towards Dostoevsky. “The murder of a double” is in reality a
metaphor for a complex and non-linear process of the creation of literary work. The
encounter with a double could be considered a manifestation of an event related to
mystical experience. The encounter of Hermann and Felix (and a further elimination of
this encounter) correlates with an attempt to actualize in the text the extraordinary
Different allusions, aesthetics and means allow to generate numerous extra meanings in
the text which are related to the historical and cultural context of the time. An important
research result is the study of a symbolic language developed by Nabokov which is
manifested by lexical density, use of numerous homogeneous and heterogeneous
attributes, multilingualism, precise attention to the sounds, eco-elements, and mirrorlike elements, etc. This language is the basis of Nabokov’s art almost in a Heideggerian
way, allowing the reader to generate a number of meanings, simultaneously being
absorbed, in the process of reading and interpretation.
Translated title of the contributionРоман «Отчаяние» Владимира Набокова: трансцендентная природа постмодернистского нарратива и символический язык
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-31
Number of pages18
JournalSkase Journal of Literary and Cultural Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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