Nabokov's Shakespeare by Nabokov, Vladimir V.; Nabokov, Vladimir Vladimirovich;

By Nabokov, Vladimir V.; Nabokov, Vladimir Vladimirovich; Schuman, Samuel; Shakespeare, William

Nabokov's Shakespeare is a accomplished examine of a big and fascinating literary courting. It explores the numerous and deep ways that the works of Shakespeare, the best author of the English language, penetrate the novels of Vladimir Nabokov, one of many best English prose stylists of the 20th century.

As a Russian early life, Nabokov learn all of Shakespeare, in English. He claimed a shared birthday with the Bard, and a few of his so much very hot novels (Lolita, light Fire and Ada) are infused with Shakespeare and Shakespeareanisms. Nabokov makes use of Shakespeare and Shakespeare's works in an incredibly wide array of how, from the main informal references to deep thematic links.

Schuman offers a taxonomy of Nabokov's Shakespeareanisms; a quantitative research of Shakespeare in Nabokov; an exam of Nabokov's Russian works, his early English novels, the non-novelistic writings (poetry, feedback, stories), Nabokov's significant works, and his ultimate novels; and a dialogue of the character of literary relationships and effect.

With a Foreword through Brian Boyd.

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Instead, a usurper has been credited with the Bard’s works; an actor and carouser. Clearly, at this early point in his own literary career, Nabokov was entertaining the notion that someone other than William Shakespeare, the son of a Stratford glover, wrote the plays. In a 1998 contribution to the Nabokov Listserv, Brian Boyd reports that Nabokov was impressed with Samuel Schoenbaum’s history of Shakespearean biography, Shakespeare’s Lives, which debunks the anti-Stratfordians. 5 A quarter century later, in Nabokov’s novel Bend Sinister, Krug and Ember have a cheerful good time demolishing the folly of the anti-Stratfordian position: Krug suggested tampering with Hamlet’s name too.

We are reminded of all his wildly unreliable narrators, the puppets of Invitation to a Beheading, the ghosts of Transparent Things, and the puzzle of who and what is “real” in Pale Fire. But set against the often-dreamlike illusion of individual existence is the reality and durability of literary art. “Dead is the mandible, alive the song,” says Pale Fire’s John Shade (l. 244). The narrator(s) of Ada die, as it were, into the book. Likewise, we will never know Shakespeare the man, the poem asserts, but we will never forget the Shakespeare canon.

I first turn in Chapter 2 to some of Vladimir Nabokov’s early Russian-language works. These writings draw less heavily upon Shakespeare, but the presence of the Bard, particularly in some of Nabokov’s early dramatic works, is certainly evident. I examine briefly Nabokov’s play The Tragedy of Mr. Morn, recognized by virtually all scholars and critics to be heavily dependent upon Shakespearean drama in language, plot, characters, and theme. Then, I discuss the poem Shakespeare, translated by Dmitri Nabokov, in which Vladimir expresses doubt regarding Shakespeare’s authorship of his works, an opinion he subsequently changed or at least modified.

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