Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0006006, Wed, 6 Jun 2001 09:09:22 -0700

Brian Boyd's _Nabokov's ADA_, expanded edition
EDITOR's NOTE. This is a must for all serious readers of ADA and of Nabokov

> The second, expanded edition of Brian Boyd's Nabokov's ADA: The Place of
> Consciousness, has just been published by cybereditions.com: 352 pp. instead
> of 245, including a new preface, four new chapters and two new indexes. It
> can be purchased through cybereditions.com for $17.95.
> You may wish to recommend for your library as well as to order for yourself.
> >From the URL below (continuous despite the apparent line break)
> http://www.cybereditions.com/spis/runisa.dll?FY:CYVIEWSUMMARY:765847:10014
> you can acess the following description, and order the book directly:
> Nabokov's Ada: The Place of Consciousness
> Brian Boyd
> Not only are Vladimir Nabokov's style and strategies richer than readers
> have suspected, they also express an original philosophy of consciousness -
> a lucid and coherent aesthetics, epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics. This
> is the essential argument of Brian Boyd's Nabokov's Ada: The Place of
> Consciousness, a study that has been widely acclaimed as the definitive
> guide to a great twentieth-century literary classic.
> Boyd reveals the myriad ways Nabokov found both to extol the amplitude and
> freedom of consciousness and at the same time to deplore our appalling
> entrapment in the self and the moment. Nabokov sought always to transcend
> the limits of the mind, looking for intimations of some freer consciousness
> beyond the mortal and material world. These attitudes, as Boyd shows, shape
> every level of his fiction, from the patterning of phrases to the interplay
> between reader and author.
> Ada is Nabokov's longest and lushest novel, and Boyd demonstrates how it
> takes Nabokov's style and thought to new heights. Although the central
> character, Van Veen, seems only to celebrate his love for his sister Ada,
> Nabokov's own focus is as much on their far more ordinary half-sister,
> Lucette, whom Van Veen and Ada overlook and tragically entangle in ways that
> indict their own actions. Even after her suicide, Lucette returns to enrich
> both the lives of Van Veen and Ada and their lyrical tribute to their past.
> In a new preface for Cybereditons, Brian Boyd places Ada in the context of
> Nabokov's work, subsequent critical discussion, and his own later work. He
> adds four new chapters, written in the late 1980s and the 1990s, offering
> overviews of Ada from a variety of new vantage points. An Index of Passages
> in Ada allows readers to check for discussions of particular chapters of the
> novel, while a detailed General Index serves those interested in Ada in
> particular or in tracing Nabokov's style or thought in general.
> With the appearance of this augmented edition of Nabokov's Ada: The Place of
> Consciousness, Brian Boyd has greatly enhanced and updated the essential
> guide both to the thought of one of the twentieth century's greatest writers
> and to one of his most complex and rewarding works.
> Contents
> Abbreviations
> A Note on Ada Editions
> Preface to First Edition
> Preface to Second Edition
> Part One: Nabokov and the Reader
> 1 Introduction
> 2 Independence and Pattern
> 3 Resistance and Solution
> Part Two: Nabokov and the World
> 4 Space, Time and Consciousness
> 5 Beyond Consciousness
> Part Three: Ada: The Responsibilities of Consciousness
> 6 Introduction
> 7 Lucette
> 8 Inseparable Fates
> 9 Lucette and Others (1)
> 10 Lucette and Others (2)
> Part Four: Ada: The Metaphysics of Consciousnes
> 11 The Mysteries of Time
> 12 In Time and Beyond
> 13 Conclusion
> Appendix: Spectral Hypotheses
> Part Five: Ada: Epilogue and Introduction
> 14 Ada through the Attic
> 15 The Art and the Ardor of Ada
> 16 Ada, or Amplitude
> 17 Ada's Allure
> Appendix: "Memoire," by Arthur Rimbaud
> Notes
> Index of Passages in Ada
> General Index
> Some Comments on the First Edition
> ". . . magnificent" - Simon Karlinsky, Washington Post
> "Brian Boyd . . . knows more about Nabokov's longest and most complex book
> than any other scholar. . . . the book seriously engages Nabokov's
> metaphysics and ethics and brings them to bear on his chef-d'oeuvre. . . .
> stunning . . . a major contribution to Nabokov scholarship and a delight for
> all serious students of Nabokov." - D. Barton Johnson, Slavic and East
> European Journal
> ". . . exceptionally fine . . . provides not only the best commentary on the
> novel, but also a most perceptive overview of Nabokov's art in general. . .
> . a brilliant overview of Nabokov's metaphysics." - Stephen Jan Parker,
> Understanding Vladimir Nabokov
> ". . . the most thorough-going investigation of Ada to date, and with
> application outside this novel to Nabokov's entire production and
> philosophy." - Jane Grayson, Slavonic Review
> ". . . the definitive work on Ada. . . . rivals Stanley Fish in showing, for
> example, how readers are lulled into failures of judgment by the Rimbaud
> intertext to the otherwise Marvellian passage beginning 'Stumbling on
> melons, fiercely beheading the tall arrogant fennels with his riding crop,
> Van . . . . ' Boyd's reading of these lines is one of the finest of
> Nabokov's prose that I know." - Charles Ross, Modern Fiction Studies
> ". . . a deep and clear treatise of Nabokov's artistic ontology, where 'new
> horizons loom on every page' (as William James said of another philosophical
> work)." - Gennadi Barabtarlo, Phantom of Fact: A Guide to Nabokov's Pnin
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ----
> Brian Boyd is a Professor in the Department of English at the University of
> Auckland. He has written, among other works, Nabokov's Ada: The Place of
> Consciousness (first edition, Ardis, 1985); a two-volume biography, Vladimir
> Nabokov: The Russian Years (Princeton, 1990) and Vladimir Nabokov: The
> American Years (Princeton, 1991); and Nabokov's Pale Fire: The Magic of
> Artistic Discovery (Princeton, 1999). He has edited Nabokov's
> English-language novels, memoirs and screenplay (3 vols., Library of
> America, 1996), and, with Robert Michael Pyle, Nabokov's Butterflies:
> Unpublished and Uncollected Writings (Beacon, 2000). He is currently writing
> an analysis of fiction in evolutionary and cognitive terms, a critical book
> on Shakespeare, and a biography of the philosopher Karl Popper.