Bouchet, Marie. Nabokov’s Poerotics of Dancing: From Word to Movement. 2009

Bibliographic title

Nabokov’s Poerotics of Dancing: From Word to Movement

Publisher, city
Periodical or collection
Kaleidoscopic Nabokov
Publication year

In Nabokov’s fiction, the interplay of gazing and desire is expressed in highly poetic prose, which Maurice Couturier calls “poerotic writing”. It is especially illustrated in the depictions of the desired body in movement: Lolita’s ballerina gestures on the tennis court or Ada’s oriental undulations are captured, as I intend to show, in a prose inhabited by rhythm, which renders the grace of movement in the interplay of word and image, through references to paintings or Russian ballets. To Nabokov’s poerotic hybrid prose, composer Joshua Fineberg, with stage director Jim Clayburgh, choreographer Johanne Saunier and video artist Kurt d'Haeseleer, responded with another intersemiotic adaptation, “Lolita, an imagined opera”, created in 2008. This paper provides an insight into this "imagined opera" -- a term coined for this hybrid multimedia work mixing music (electronic and acoustic), ballet, drama and video art.