Lectures on Literature: Austen, Dickens, Flaubert, Joyce, Kafka, Proust, Stevenson (Picador Books)

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9780330269735: Lectures on Literature: Austen, Dickens, Flaubert, Joyce, Kafka, Proust, Stevenson (Picador Books)

For two decades, first at Wellesley and then at Cornell, Nabokov introduced undergraduates to the delights of great fiction. Here, collected for the first time, are his famous lectures, which include Mansfield Park, Bleak House, and Ulysses. Edited and with a Foreword by Fredson Bowers; Introduction by John Updike; illustrations.

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About the Author:

Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born poet, novelist, literary critic, translator, and essayist was awarded the National Medal for Literature for his life's work in 1973. He taught literature at Wellesley, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard. He is the author of many works including Lolita, Pale Fire, Ada, and Speak, Memory.

Review:

Not really essays, not genial and general E. M. Forster-ish talks either, nor stirring defenses nor rhetorical destructions, these lectures Nabokov prepared and gave at Cornell in the Fifties are just that: he talks and reads, we listen (the same general approach - heirophant picking out the mystery from the dross - that Nabokov used in his own fiction); and literature is taken apart like a boxful of toys: "impersonal imagination and artistic delight," "the supremacy of the detail over the general, of the part that is more alive than the whole." There are diagrams and drawings, quiddities made visual: a map of Sotherton Court in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park; exactly what kind of beetle Gregor Samsa turned into in "The Metamorphosis" the facade of 7 Eccles St., Bloom's house in Ulysses; what Odette's orchid looked like in Swann's Way. The more specific and crammed the writer, the more specific and crammed Nabokov's lecture: Dickens, Flaubert, Joyce. He finds Bleak House's tricks delicious, the richness and the pity; in Ulysses he swats away the Freudian interpretations ("a thousand and one nights [made] into a convention of Shriners") in favor of the devilish intricacy of Joycean synchronicity: "the hopeless past, the ridiculous and tragic present, and the pathetic future." Where sheer lush orchestration is less the thing, Nabokov falls back on thematic layering and transformation; before Stevenson's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" he is almost brief, enchantedly synopsizing although with microscopic attention still. In Nabokov a crankiness is always near the surface (here he rants against movies, even music); and he betrays a certain anxiety by detailing so much, as though a great work might try and fool him: there's something at the same time eccentric and regimental to his appreciation. But finally there is a personal, fussy, high rapture to these lessons and illustrations, not quite analytical (Nabokov was too defensive and contentious for analysis - maybe too brilliant, too) - more a delight in literature-as-camouflage. Distinctive and demanding. (Kirkus Reviews )

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Vladimir Nabokov
Published by Macmillan 1983-05-06 (1983)
ISBN 10: 0330269739 ISBN 13: 9780330269735
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Book Description Macmillan 1983-05-06, 1983. Paperback. Book Condition: Acceptable. The books cover does have shelfware that includes creasing, scuffs, scratches and dirty marks. Otherwise the content is in good condition. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 032460-10

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Nabokov, Vladimir (Bowers, Fredson - Editor)
Published by Picador, London (1980)
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Book Description Picador, London, 1980. Softcover (Perfect Bound). Book Condition: Good. First Paperback Edition. editor's forward, introduction by John Updike, Good Readers and Good Writers and appendix. Plain card cover with black coloured titles to the front panel and backstrip. The text has the occasional reproduction of Nabokov's working notes. For nearly 20 years Vladimir Nabokov taught a course, first at Wellesley and then at Cornell, on the masterpieces of world literature. He started off each course with the words "With a pleasure which is both sensual and intellectual, we shall watch the artist build the castle of cards and watch the Castle of cards become a castle of beautiful steel and glass." -- from the rear panel blurb. These are his lectures on Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Stevenson, Joyce, Flaubert, Proust and Kafka. Creasing to the book corners and there is a reading crease to the backstrip. Browning and scattered foxing to the textblock edges and age toning of the pages. Fading to the backstrip. Size: Mid Sized Paperback. [6], VII - XXVII, [3], 385, [1] pages, Text body is clean, and free from previous owner annotation, underlining and highlighting. Please refer to accompanying picture (s). Quantity Available: 1. Category: Essays & Literary Criticism; Literature & Literary. ISBN: 0330269739. ISBN/EAN: 9780330269735. Inventory No: 0118831. This book is light, and postage will be reduced to $7.80 for shipment within Australia. . Bookseller Inventory # 0118831

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Nabokov, Vladimir; Bowers, Fredson
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Book Description Picador, 1983. Soft cover. Book Condition: Very Good. No Jacket. 1st Edition. 1983 Picador Paperback 1st Edition : Very good++ binding . Bookseller Inventory # ABE-7771559303

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