Vladimir Nabokov Archive

Carefully Chosen Words: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Vladimir Nabokov

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One of my favorite little known facts about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is that she was a student in Vladimir Nabokov’s European Literature class at Cornell when she was an undergraduate in the 1950s. Nabokov’s influence is seen in many of Ginsburg’s writings.

Nabokovian Desire in Sex Me: Confessions of Daddy’s Little Freak

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In wondering why victims stay in abusive relationships, people often ignore the more pressing question: why don’t abusers stop abusing?

What It Means To Say Goodbye to a Language

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Vladimir Nabokov wrote English prose so piercing and pristine we forget the language was not his natural idiom. In leaving his native Russian behind, to find new readers and paying publishers, he gave up not just a language, but also the warm familiarity of cultural shorthand and common referents

I Don’t Need to Read LOLITA, Because I’ve Read THE LOVER

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I am not saying Lolita is a bad book, or that its fans or Nabokov are complicit in sexism; just that it’s not a story I care about delving into. I always thought this was because I wasn’t open-minded enough as a reader—until I met The Lover, by Marguerite

Is it Time for a Response to Lolita?

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If that reality was so vital to Nabokov, if its silenced heart is what makes the novel so haunting, then there is space, surely, surely, for the real, breathing girl to speak properly.

Round-Up: Writers Address the Next President, J.K. Rowlng’s New eBooks, and the New PEN/Nabokov Award

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From PEN America's new award to a new Harry Potter ebook series, here are last week's biggest literary headlines.

Fiction Responding to Fiction: Vladimir Nabokov and Lorrie Moore

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Lorrie Moore’s story “Referential,” published in the New Yorker in 2012 and included in her 2014 collection Bark, is a clear homage to and reflection of Vladimir Nabokov’s story “Symbols and Signs,” published in 1948 in the New Yorker and included in his collection Nabokov’s Dozen a decade later.

Ways of Beginning

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New Year’s Eve has always struck me as sort of a strained holiday. The newness it represents feels invisible to me, no matter the countdowns and music and noisemakers piled on it—a threshold in the air, a line that’s there because we say it is. I’m always so aware

Reading about Reading

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Paintings of people looking at paintings, like this one, can make me fall into a dizzy sort of hole. Gazing at the painting to find, there, painted people gazing at a painting, suddenly I’m not quite sure where I’m actually standing, where the line between me and the painting

“Death!/ Plop.”: The Instructive Power of Very Bad Art

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In the basement of three small theaters in Massachusetts lives a collection of some of humankind’s worst artistic efforts: the Museum of Bad Art. Everything in the collection is gloriously, earnestly bad (the curators reject anything that seems bad by intention). You can go there. You should. The photograph