Nabokov´s Spine

During his tenure at Cornell, Vladimir Nabokov liked to exclaim: “Let us worship the spine!” Setting out from this exhortation, the study considers his œuvre in a dual regard, encompassing both the “spine-thrill of delight” that the reader should experience and the conscience suggested by having a spine. If enchantment signals an affection for world and language, virtue implies an interest in moral dilemmas. Examples abound of how the two aspects cannot be conceived of independently. Of defining importance is the writer’s sense of details. Throughout Nabokov’s work, sensuous knowledge is at stake. Time and again he emphasizes: “In reading, one should notice and fondle details.” How to cherish evidentiality if not with the help of small things? Considering the uneasy kinship of delight and morality, both God and the Devil seem to be hiding in the detail. The study investigates the role of miniscule matter in three analytical steps: (1) the rhetoric of details; (2) the narration of details; and (3) the mediality of details. By also addressing Nabokov’s life during times of turmoil, its scope is widened to include the story of 50 years in exile — spent in rented rooms in Berlin, then in houses owned by US professors on sabbatical, finally at a Swiss hotel. The first Nabokov monograph in Swedish, the study is directed at readers with a general interest as well as specialists. The intention is to produce an English version. Publishing contacts exist on both sides of the Atlantic.

Quelle der Beschreibung: Information des Anbieters


Erzähltheorie, Stoffe, Motive, Thematologie, Literatur des 20. Jahrhunderts
Vladimir Nabokov



Aris Fioretos


Södertörn University Stockholm
Datum der Veröffentlichung: 03.06.2019
Letzte Änderung: 03.06.2019