Thomas Karshan

in Vladimir Nabokov and the Art of Play

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199603985
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725333 | DOI:

Series: Oxford English Monographs


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The conclusion returns to the question of what is meant by saying that play is Nabokov's signature idea. Was play, then, his ‘secret’? Nabokov often wrote of secrets, sometimes hinted at having one himself, and occasionally came close to hinting it was play. Yet he also frequently dramatised the dangers of imagining that there is a secret harboured in literature or in life. The conclusion moots pain as an alternative central principle in Nabokov's work before exploring the relation between art, play, and secrecy more generally.

Keywords: Nabokov; art; play; secrecy; signature themes; pain; Henry James

Chapter.  4421 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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