But here, as if caused by a spectral telephone operator's accidental switch, a "neutral, detached, anonymous" voice speaks where the "I" should be, not so much powerfully usurping as absentmindedly displacing the Nabokovian
subject from any hope of his rightful position as Master in his own house (1996b, 380).
In the process we shall see that the Nabokovian
aesthetic incorporates a vision of art as both beautiful and moral.
"One of the Boys" kicks off with a similar declaration of gender nonconformity ("I can belch the alphabet" and "I chose guitar over ballet"), but soon takes a conventional turn for the worse: "I started reading Seventeen and shaving my legs [and studying] Lolita religiously." Accordingly, the album's artwork is steeped in Nabokovian
imagery (heart-shaped glasses, lollipops, and lots of pink), and, while eroticizing the schoolgirl figure is hardly new--Britney "I'm Not That Innocent" Spears made a career of it--it's the lyricist in Katy Perry that can be lethal.
We have seen how a distinctly Nabokovian
figure keeps reappearing throughout Lolita, now in the shape of Clare Quilty's amanuensis and biographer Vivian Darkbloom, now in the figure of a mysterious Aubrey-Vivian McFate, a nearnamesake of Joyce's equally shady "M'Intosh." The assumption that Nabokov believed himself to emulate the Irish master's example in breaking the narrative frame of his novel to make room for his own, authorial, self is supported by further analogies and homologies that hold between various characters of the two novels examined.
Excusable in itself, in context this parenthetical aside seems like a Nabokovian
In this collection of articles by four eminent scholars who have distinguished themselves in both Nabokovian
studies and Russian literature we present readings of The Defense (1930) by Catharine Nepomnyashchy, of Pnin (1957) by Irene Masing-Delic, of Lolita (1955) by Zsuzsa Hetenyi, and of Pale Fire (1962) in conjunction with Nabokov's translation of Eugene Onegin (1964) by Julia Trubikhina.
Harwell had to invent for Bauby an emotional arc from initial suicidal depression to the recovery of his will to live because the book portrays him as remarkably chipper throughout his ordeal, espousing a Nabokovian
delight in the visual details he could espy from his bed and wheelchair.
Plus there's the whole Nabokovian
game of chess thing; Nabokov composed chess problems in his free time, and that level of cunning is also applied to his plots.
The book is organized like a course syllabus or summer reading list and closes with a pop quiz, but as it is Nabokovian
in size and scope, it may prove difficult for all but the most sophisticated YAs.