NABOKV-L post 0006005, Sun, 3 Jun 2001 16:02:20 -0700

VN Bibliography : B. Wylie, Nabokov & Contemp. American Lit & Film
EDITOR's NOTE. NABOKV-L thanks Barbara Wylie for sending us the abstract of her
dissertation. It would be be splendid if all of those who who are doing or have
done Nabokov dissertations would send NABOKV-L their abstracts.

Barbara Wyllie < bwyllie@SSEES.AC.UK to the NABOKV-L>

> ---------------- Message requiring your approval (107 lines) ------------------
> Dear List,
> Here are some details of my recently-passed PhD thesis, "A Study of the Work
> of Vladimir Nabokov in the context of Contemporary American Fiction and
> Film", SSEES, University College London, 2000 (hopefully soon to find a
> publisher).
> Please get in touch if you want to know/see more...
> Barbara Wyllie
> * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
> Twentieth-century American culture has been dominated by a preoccupation
> with image. The supremacy of image has been promoted and refined by cinema
> which has sustained its place as America's foremost cultural and artistic
> medium. Vision as a perceptual mode is also a compelling and dynamic aspect
> central to Nabokov's creative imagination. Film was a fascination from
> childhood, but Nabokov's interest in the medium extended beyond his
> experiences as an extra and his attempts to write for screen in Berlin in
> the 1920s and '30s, or the declared cinematic novel of 1938, Laughter in the
> Dark and his screenplay for Stanley Kubrick's 1962 film version of Lolita.
> Nabokov assimilated the styles and techniques of cinema into his fiction,
> not as a passing experiment, but as a permanent aspect of his art. From his
> earliest work he demonstrates an affinity with the cinematic perspective not
> only of German and Soviet film-makers, but equally with that of contemporary
> American writers John Dos Passos, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dashiell Hammett,
> James M. Cain and William Faulkner. Like the work of Americans in the 1930s,
> Nabokov's early Russian fiction precursed the fundamental visual and
> narrative innovations of 1940s film noir which, along with elements of
> 'Screwball' comedy, Nabokov adapted and utilized in Lolita. At the same
> time, the cinematic mode is fundamental to Nabokov's exposition of pivotal
> themes of memory, mortality and the imagination in both his fictional and
> autobiographical work. In the late novels his deployment of cinematics
> extended from film and photography to television which both reflected the
> changing dynamics in the visual culture of contemporary America and
> presented an explicit revision of narrative and perceptual conventions
> paralleled by the New Hollywood film-makers of the early 1970s.
> 1. Nabokov and Film: Positive versus Negative
> 2. The Impact of German and Soviet Film on Nabokov's Early Russian Fiction
> i) German Expressionist film: key aspects
> ii) The Expressionist nightmare in Murnau's Der letzte Mann and Nabokov's
> 'Details of a Sunset'
> iii) Mechanisms of cinematic visualization in The Eye
> iv) Dziga Vertov and Smurov's kino-eye
> v) Manipulation of cinematic narrative in 'The Leonardo'
> vi) Despair and the tyranny of cinematic perception
> 3. A Medium Invaded: Cinema and Cinematics in The Great Gatsby, King,
> Queen, Knave and Laughter in the Dark
> i) Dos Passos and the camera eye
> ii) Fitzgerald's dream cinema
> iii) Nabokov's Russian fiction and the American film perspective
> iv) Cinematic motif in 'Spring in Fialta'
> 4. A Common Vision? Traces of Noir in Nabokov's Russian Fiction and
> American Writing of the 1930s
> i) American film noir: definitions and interpretations
> ii) The Maltese Falcon and Sanctuary: seminal noir texts
> iii) Fate, the "double bind" and the femme fatale: formative noir by
> Nabokov and Cain
> iv) Definitive noir motifs in the work of Hammett, Faulkner and Cain
> v) Dark illumination: the origins of noir lighting in The Big Sleep and
> the work of Cain, Faulkner and Nabokov
> 5. Images of Terror and Desire: Lolita and the American Cinematic
> Experience, 1939-1952
> i) Memory as film: 'In Dreams Begin Responsibilities'
> ii) Lolita: Nabokov's Hollywood novel
> iii) Humbert Humbert goes to the movies
> iv) Cinema and Humbert Humbert's sexual consciousness
> v) Film, photography and the mechanisms of memory
> vi) The corruption of objectivity: Humbert Humbert's camera eye
> vii) Film as refuge and inspiration
> viii) Lolita, archetypal Hollywood heroine
> ix) Fate and the noir double bind
> x) Movie violence and movie heroes
> xi) Light and dark, colours and shadows: the filmic image as revelation
> xii) Humbert Humbert and the American cinematic tradition
> 6. Dream Distortions: Film and Visual Deceit in 'The Assistant Producer',
> Bend Sinister and Ada
> i) Realms of cinematic experience in 'The Assistant Producer' and Bend
> Sinister
> ii) Film and the dilemma of mortality in Ada
> 7. Altered Perspectives and Visual Disruption in Transparent Things and
> American Film of the Early 1970s
> i) Transparent Things and the mechanisms of perspective
> ii) Signs and symbols and the problems of perception
> iii) Film and television dreams in Transparent Things, Americana and
> Being There
> iv) A parallel realm of existence: photography in Transparent Things
> v) Imaginary boundaries, invisible barriers and the filmic perspective
> vii) Transparent Things and the New Hollywood