Stalking Nabokov: Selected Essays

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Product Details
Columbia University Press
Publish Date
5.34 X 9.06 X 1.1 inches | 1.31 pounds

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About the Author
Brian Boyd is University Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Auckland. His work on American, Brazilian, English, Greek, Irish, New Zealand, and Russian literature, from epics to comics, has appeared in seventeen languages and has won awards on four continents. He is the author of Vladimir Nabokov: The Russian Years and Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years, books on Pale Fire and Ada, and the enormous AdaOnline. He has edited Nabokov's English fiction, autobiography, butterfly writings, and verse translations and is now editing a collection of the author's letters to his wife. Also known for his evolutionary and cognitive work, he is the author of On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction and the forthcoming Why Lyrics Last: Evolution, Cognition, and Shakespeare's Sonnets and is coeditor of Evolution, Literature, and Film: A Reader. He is currently working on a biography of the philosopher Karl Popper.
A readable collection on one of the 20th century's greatest writers, this will be enjoyed by Nabokov fans and students of 20th century literature.-- "Library Journal"
Boyd's graceful style and passionate advocacy achieves the goal of the best literary criticism: it compels us to pick up Nabokov and read, or read again, the work of a master.-- "Publishers Weekly"
In Stalking Nabokov Boyd attempts something fairly ambitious: he takes the titanic Nabokov and seeks to revise him upwards. As Boyd sees it, he is not only the greatest novelist of the century; he is also a considerable poet, an important scientist, a controversially original translator, a fearless and liberating critic, a learned psychologist.... Véra [Nabokov] soon came to value him and to trust him; and we should follow her lead.... Professor Boyd, as the author of books on evolution and cognition, is well equipped to give us a real sense of Nabokov's scientific weight.... The long and fervent essay in Stalking Nabokov [on the poem] "Pale Fire," compel us to reexamine the poem as an autonomous whole. And the exercise is epiphanic. "Pale Fire" glows with fresh pathos and vibrancy--and so does Pale Fire. For the first time we see the poem in all its innocence, and register the vandalism of Kinbote's desperate travesty. // So at last the true dimensions of Pale Fire are more clearly revealed to us.... On the timbre of Nabokov's artistic spirit Boyd is fundamentally right-headed.--Martin Amis "Times Literary Supplement"
Advances a consistent and intriguing reading of [Nabokov's] work.... a powerful corrective to a prevailing view of Nabokov.--Larry Hardesty "Boston Globe"
Essential for everyone interested in the Russian master.-- "Booklist"
Boyd's deft analysis of the novels is superb.... genuinely exhilarating.... Brian Boyd is not only Nabokov's biographer but also his pre-eminent critic. This is a valuable and delightful collection of essays on one of the twentieth century's most significant novelists.--Paul Morgan "Australian Book Review"
There is plenty of sensible and revealing stuff here.-- "New Yorker"
Absolutely fascinating.... Uniquely compelling.... This is Boyd at his best.--Eric Naiman "San Francisco Chronicle"
There is much here that will inform, enliven, and enlighten the work of one of the greatest novelists of his century.-- "New York Times Book Review"
Required reading for serious students of Nabokov.-- "Choice"
Boyd is always a pleasure to read...and this collection does not disappoint.--Stephen H. Blackwell "Slavic Review"
Ambitious.... Fervent.... Epiphanic.--Martin Amis "Times Literary Supplement"
Substantial.... Impressive.... Enlightening.... Best of all, his enthusiasm for Nabokov's verbal pyrotechnics, for his comically deluded heroes pursuing elusive objects of desire, for the ability to depict life itself, joyously 'swarming with inexhaustible diversity and delight, ' sends you back to read the books... of one of literature's great masters.--David Eggleton "The Listener"
Boyd's sophisticated use of texts and contexts, close readings informed by archival materials and decades of experience, and wonderful writing style mean that all Nabokov scholars and fans will enjoy.--Jason Merrill "The Russian Review"
Boyd is, without a doubt, an incredibly exacting and rigorous scholar -- his tireless research and collection of a vast array of materials is something which coming generations of academics will continue to be grateful for.--U.H. Dematagoda "Slavonic and East European Review"