Announcing Winners of the 2020 IVNS Prizes!

Submitted by dana_dragunoiu on Wed, 11/25/2020 - 15:35

Dr. Lara Delage-Toriel, President of the International Vladimir Nabokov Society, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 IVNS Prizes. Congratulations to all the winners! The winners are as follows:

Ellen Pifer Prize

Winner: 

Alisa Shimoyama (undergraduate), University of East Anglia, United Kingdom

Title: 

“Reality and Fiction in Nabokov’s Last Three Completed Novels” (BA dissertation)

The judges write:

Alisa Shimoyama’s essay “Reality and Fiction in Nabokov’s Last Three Completed Novels” explores the paradoxical relationship of art and fragile reality in AdaTransparent Things, and Look at the Harlequins!  Working outward from Derrida’s discussion of mimicry and the textual production of the real in Mallarmé, Shimoyama reveals how the figure of paradox allows for a passage between the realms of dream and waking, death and life. Moving beyond Nabokov’s own pronouncements on art to close readings of the novels themselves, Shimoyama explores with sensitivity the nuanced variations on this central theme in his late work. Reading the late Nabokov with a tradition of self-reflexive fiction, this skillfully balanced piece presents a rewarding view of Nabokov’s authorial presence as both intra- and extra-textual.

 

Dieter Zimmer Prize

Winner:

Luke Sayers (PhD Student), Baylor University, USA

Title:

“‘America’s Russian’: Vladimir Nabokov and the Cultural Cold War”

The judges write:

Luke Sayers has succeeded in raising relevant questions about the nuances of current debates within Nabokov studies. The author challenges the familiar bi-polar intellectual cartographies drawn around the notion of the “cultural Cold War” and specifies the ways in which Nabokov eludes the geopolitical and aesthetic coordinates assigned to him and his fiction.

 

Gene Barabtarlo Prize

Winner: 

Tatyana Gershkovich, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Title: 

"Suspicion on Trial: Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata and Nabokov’s 'Pozdnyshev’s Address'" in PMLA 134.3 (2019): 459-74. 

The judges write:

In her insightful analysis of the little-known and, as yet, unpublished in English “Pozdnyshev Address” – composed and delivered by Nabokov in July, 1926, at a literary mock trial organized by the Russian Journalists and Writers’ Union in Berlin – Tatyana Gershkovich compares the young writer’s morally charged interpretation of Pozdnyshev’s personality, solipsistic approach to life, and “suspicious hermeneutics” to Tolstoy’s portrayal of the egomaniacal character in The Kreutzer Sonata. Deeply nuanced and conceptually compelling, Gershkovich’s investigation of what she calls “Nabokov’s departures from Tolstoy” sheds light on the evolution of Nabokovian ethics and aesthetics, especially the “suspicious reading” approach that he begins to integrate into his works in the late 1920s, when transitioning from solely poetic and short-story composition to his career as a novelist. In her provocative, original, sophisticated, and thoroughly researched essay, the figure of Nabokov the Tolstoy critic evolves into that of a young writer who is ready to boldly overcome his great predecessor’s grip on the reader's imagination by creating a text “that manages not to cede us full control over its meaning.”  Gershkovich's argument in "Suspicion on Trial: Tolstoy's The Kreutzer Sonata and Nabokov's 'Pozdnyshev's Address'" is tightly focused, even as it illuminates Nabokov's overall development as a writer and the pervasive tension, in all his work, between playfully ironic aesthetic complexity and awareness of human suffering.

 

Jane Grayson Prize

Winners and titles:

Andrei Babikov, Прочтение Набокова. Изыскания и материалы (Perusing Nabokov: Studies and Materials), Senior Researcher at the Alexander Solzhenitsyn House of Russian Abroad, Moscow, Russian Federation

Stanislav Shvabrin, Between Rhyme and ReasonVladimir Nabokov, Translation, and DialogueAssociate Professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA

The judges write:

Shvabrin's book takes us on a journey through the world of the poems of others that Nabokov loved best and translated himself, offering crucial insights (and archival glimpses) into the mechanisms inside Nabokov's artistic workshop that incorporate, respond to, and extend poetic materials he revered in the works of others. Babikov's Perusing Nabokov presents a large collection of the scholar's archival discoveries that shed surprising and valuable new light on many works that were previously thought to be textologically settled. Both of these authors deserve high praise for producing foundational studies that bring oft-overlooked materials to the fore, providing crucial resources that other scholars will turn gratefully to again and again.