Nabokov's Canon

Cloth Text – $120.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-3315-0

E-book – $39.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3316-7

Paper Text – $39.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3314-3
Publication Date
May 2016
Page Count
248 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Nabokov's Canon

From "Onegin" to "Ada"
Marijeta Bozovic

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.
About the Author

MARIJETA BOZOVIC is an assistant professor of Slavic languages and literatures at Yale University.

"[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

“The study is superb in demonstrating the complex manifestation of the strategies meant to influence cultural production on the textual level.” —Slavic and East European Journal

"Original and fascinating... Bozovic’s study is remarkable in many ways, because it sets out to theorize with utmost clarity the unique place of Nabokov in worldwide literature, a place that he consciously forged himself, while accounting at the same time for the diversity of his literary descendants. Although Bozovic never loses track of her forceful idea, always pulling back to her main issues, she nourishes her notional points with precise and nuanced microanalyses of Nabokov’s texts. In the sea of intertextual speculations that Nabokov’s entire work calls forth, Bozovic helps us recontextualize the work of Nabokov and make sense of the nature of his bibliophilic experiments." —Slavic and East European Review 

"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

"Bozovic’s fascinating study offers a new way of understanding Nabokov’s legacy as a construction of a transnational literary canon characterized by cultural syncretism and intermedial fluidity." --Slavic Review

"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