Vladimir Nabokov


Annotations to Nabokov works:

The annotations maintain a consistent format but the depth of annotations, and the degree of interpretation, vary according to the annotators.

Please edit typos as you notice them, but contact the annotators to propose more substantial changes.


Ada  Headnote by Brian Boyd

         AdaOnline  by Brian Boyd (separate website): Annotations (full, hyperlinked with the text of Ada, with and Index of Motifs and with illustrations) from Pt 1 Ch 1 to Pt 2 Ch 11.

         Annotations to Ada (full, but text only) by Brian Boyd: Now available: 55: Pt 3 Ch 1; 56: Pt 3 Ch 2

         Annotations (light) to later chapters (Pt 3 Ch 3-Pt 5 Ch 6) by Brian Boyd

Bend Sinister   Annotations by Zoran Kuzmanovich (more to come)

         See also R. Bowie's annotations on Shakespeare in Chapter 7, The Nabokovian No. 32, Spring 1994

         Also: Bend Sinister: Christian Motifs, annotations by Mary Ross, published November 2023.

The Defense     Annotations by Tadashi Wakashima;  Headnote by Zoran Kuzmanovich

The Gift  [Temporarily unavailable] Annotations by Yuri Leving. This website is designed to provide the reader of Vladimir Nabokov’s The Gift with a quick and convenient reference regarding various aspects of the narrative. Concordance, visual commentary, electronic appendices and indexes (Dramatis personae, Flora and fauna, Color distribution, and Toponymy) serve as a supplement to the printed edition: Yuri Leving. Keys to The Gift. A Guide to V. Nabokov’s Novel (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2011).

Glory Annotations by Stephen Blackwell (coming soon)

Invitation to a Beheading Annotations by Olga Skonechnaia (in Russian and in English)

King, Queen, Knave    Annotations by Anastasia Tolstoy

Lectures on Russian Literature by Eric Naiman, Thomas Dyne, Elizabeth Geballe, Chloë Kitzinger, Anna Muza and Kit Pribble

Lolita   Annotations by Marie Bouchet and team (in preparation)

Pale Fire   Annotations by Matthew Roth

Speak, Memory    Annotations by Brian Boyd

Strong Opinions    Annotations by David Rampton (more to come)

Transparent Things   Annotations by Akiko Nakata

"The Visit to the Museum" Annotations by Olga Voronina (coming soon)

Substantial French-language annotations of Nabokov's works can be found in Vladimir Nabokov, Œuvres romanesques complètes, in the renowned Pléiade series, a three-volume edition published under the general editorship of Maurice Couturier. Volume I appeared in 1999, Volume II in 2010, Volume III in 2021. For contents of the three volumes, see below.

Volume I, Gallimard, 1999

Machenka, annotated by Laure Troubetzkoy

Roi, Dame, Valet, annotated by Suzanne Fraysse                                          

La Défense Loujine, annotated by Bernard Kreise

Le Guetteur, annotated by Alexandre Dolinin

L’Exploit, annotated by Maurice Couturier and Laure Troubetzkoy

Rire dans la nuit, annotated by Christine Raguet-Bouvart

Chambre obscure (first translation)annotated by Laure Troubetzkoy 

La Méprise, annotated by Wladimir Troubetzkoy

Inivtation au supplice, annotated by Bernard Kreise

Volume II, Gallimard, 2010

Le Don, annotated by Alexandre Dolinin

La Vraie de Sebastian Knight, annotated by Maurice Couturier

L’Enchanteur, annotated by Laure Troubetzkoy

Brisure à senestre, annotated by René Alladaye

Lolita, annotated by Maurice Couturier

Autres rivages, annotated by Brian Boyd

Volume III, Gallimard 2021

Pnin, annotated by Maurice Couturier

Feu pâle, annotated by Maurice Couturier

Ada, annotated by Agnès Edel-Roy, Marie Bouchet, Monica Manolescu, Yannicke Chupin

La Transparence des choses,annotated by René Alladaye

Regarde, regarde les Arlequins !, annotated by René Alladaye

L’Original de Laura, annotated by René Alladaye


The German Gesammelte Werke editions, published by Rowohlt under the general editorship of Dieter E. Zimmer, and many edited by Zimmer himself, also have detailed annotations.

Russian editions with substantial annotations include the Symposium edition (10 volumes, St. Petersburg, 1999) and the recent Corpus editions, under the editorship of Andrei Babikov (Moscow, 2020- ).