NABOKV-L post 0027593, Thu, 9 Nov 2017 02:23:28 +0000

VN-Bib: Gennady Barabtarlo's "Insomniac Dreams Experiments with
Time by Vladimir Nabokov" (2017)
Insomniac Dreams: Experiments with Time by Vladimir Nabokov. Compiled, edited, and with commentaries by Gennady Barabtarlo

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Nabokov's dream diary, published for the first time—and placed in biographical and literary context

On October 14, 1964, Vladimir Nabokov, a lifelong insomniac, began a curious experiment. Over the next eighty days, immediately upon waking, he wrote down his dreams, following the instructions he found in An Experiment with Time by the British philosopher John Dunne. The purpose was to test the theory that time may go in reverse, so that, paradoxically, a later event may generate an earlier dream. The result—published here for the first time—is a fascinating diary in which Nabokov recorded sixty-four dreams (and subsequent daytime episodes) on 118 index cards, which afford a rare glimpse of the artist at his most private. More than an odd biographical footnote, the experiment grew out of Nabokov’s passionate interest in the mystery of time, which influenced many of his novels, including the late masterpiece Ada.

Insomniac Dreams, edited by leading Nabokov authority Gennady Barabtarlo, presents the text of Nabokov’s dream experiment, illustrated with a selection of his original index cards, and provides rich annotations and analysis that put them in the context of his life and writings. The book also includes previously unpublished records of Nabokov’s dreams from his letters and notebooks and shows important connections between his fiction and private writings on dreams and time.

Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1899. After studying French and Russian literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, he launched his literary career in Berlin and Paris, writing innovative fiction, verse, and drama in his native Russian. In 1940 he moved to America, where he wrote some of his greatest works, including Lolita (1955), Pnin (1957), and Pale Fire (1962). He died in Switzerland in 1977. Gennady Barabtarlo is professor of literature at the University of Missouri and the author of a number of books on Nabokov. Barabtarlo has also translated into Russian three of Nabokov’s novels and all of his English-language short stories. He lives in Columbia, Missouri.

"Who needs fantasy fiction when you can plunge through the trapdoor in Nabokov’s pillow into his lucid dreamworlds, with Gennady Barabtarlo as sage companion and guide?"--Brian Boyd, author of Vladimir Nabokov: The Russian Years and Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years
"Nabokov's amazing records of his dreams are priceless, and their publication will create a much-deserved critical buzz. They show Nabokov at his most vulnerable, raw, and genuine, giving us rare glimpses into his past, his feelings about his parents, his relationship with his wife and son, and his anxieties and hopes. This is a very important book."--Galya Diment, University of Washington

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