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Essay About The Literary Works of Vladimir Nabokov

Project id 1002335
Subject area Arts Entertainment
Document type Essay
Words 2545
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More so than that of most other comparably famed writers, a number of Vladimir Nabokov's works beckon near polarizing postings in interpretation and real author intent amidst literary circles. In a letter to the editor of The New Yorker, he concedes to building systems "in which a second (principal) story is woven right into, or put behind, the superficial semitransparent one" (Dolinin). In practice, this architectural premise is complicated further by his tendency to dabble in the metaphysical and occasionally, in the metafictional. Nabokov's addition of meticulous description and phrase selection coupled with his reliance on unreliable narrators--at "Signs and Symbols," "The Vane Sisters," and "Details of a Sunset" - permits him to learn more about the bounds enclosing objective versus subjective realities, producing conscientiously woven narratives multi-layered and possibly mysterious in meaning. Perhaps his most widely renowned and often debated brief narrative, "Signs and Symbols" recounts the story of a boy diagnosed using "referential mania" (Nabokov, "Signs" 600) along with his immigrant parents struggling to cope with his condition as well as repeated suicide attempts during his dwelling in an insane asylum. The boy is suffering with a breed of extreme paranoia that leaves him to think everything outside--trees, pebbles, clouds--are all malevolently conspiring against him, that "everything occurring around him can be a veiled reference to his own nature and existenceEverything is really a cipher and of what he is the theme" (Nabokov, "Evidence" 602). The premise that each detail is a clue, a cipher resulting in some kind of resolution or truth is projected onto the reader (Andrews 142) whose "insistence on pattern and meaning...

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