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From "Onegin" to "Ada"
Nabokov's translation of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin (1964) and its accompanying Commentary, along with Ada, or Ardor (1969), his densely allusive late Englishlanguage novel, have appeared nearly inscrutable to many interpreters of his work. If not outright failures, they are often considered relatively unsuccessful curiosities. In Bozovic's insightful study, these key texts reveal Nabokov's ambitions to reimagine a canon of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Western masterpieces with Russian literature as a central, rather than marginal, strain. Nabokov's scholarly work, translations, and lectures on literature bear resemblance to New Critical canon reformations; however, Nabokov's canon is pointedly translingual and transnational and serves to legitimize his own literary practice. The new angles and theoretical framework offered by Nabokov's Canon help us to understand why Nabokov's provocative monuments remain powerful source texts for several generations of diverse international writers, as well as richly productive material for visual, cinematic, musical, and other artistic adaptations.
"[Bozovic] writes and thinks with bold ambition, breadth, clarity, verve, attention to detail and context, and a capacity to make us rethink Nabokov, the modern Western canon, and canon formation." —Brian Boyd, author of Stalking Nabokov
"A boon to even the seasoned specialist, the elegantly argued, nuanced study also has much to offer the vast general readership that Nabokov commands." —Olga Hasty, author of Pushkin's Tatiana
"This fascinating and original study illustrates how Nabokov burst through national as well as temporal boundaries in his writing, both evolving from Pushkin and redefining Pushkin as the font of western modernism and its aftermath." —Stephen Blackwell, author of The Quill and the Scalpel: Nabokov's Art and the Worlds of Science