Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025779, Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:02:10 -0200

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vladimir nabokov Daily update ⋅ October 21, 2014 http://www.pushkinhouse.org/events/2014/10/22/discussion-vladimir-nabokovs-england-imagined-and-real

In the popular imagination Vladimir Nabokov is associated more with Coca-Cola, nymphettes and the freshly garish American Dream than he is with the ancient halls of Cambridge University. But England, both as a concept and as a place, is where the writer spent his formative years.
With his typically highly-charged, witty style, Nabokov described his childhood as “A bewildering sequence of English nurses and governesses”.
In 1919 the Nabokov family moved to London, joining Vladimir’s uncle who served as the Russian Ambassador. Nabokov started at Cambridge that same year. What did Nabokov make of the place? His memories of that time are hard-hitting: "Repetitive pictures of grey pears on the grimy walls of Victoria Station advertised the bath soap the English governesses had used upon me in my childhood", illustrative of the difference between imagined and tangible reality, a refreshingly Russian view of Britain, as well as the writer's extraordinary, almost surreal level of perception.
The discussion will focus on how Nabokov's involvement with English culture shaped his work, drawing on the expertise of several scholars and professors from different universities across the UK.
Tatiana Ponomareva is one of the best-known Nabokov scholars, having been director of the Vladimir Nabokov Museum since 2002. She has organised and participated in numerous international conferences and edited a number of academic publications on Nabokov. She is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Philology of the St.Petersburg State University.

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