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|Title:||Nabokov and Ada|
|Authors:||Boyd, David Brian|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>Ada has tended to hinder the study of Nobokov's works both by its exceptional difficultyand by its appearing to confirm suspicions of Nabokov's artistic and moral self-indulgence. By elucidating Ada this thesis seeks not only to surmount the obstacle of the novel's difficulty but also to demonstrate the book's artistic control, phiiosophic range and moral force, and at the same time to chart Nabokov's reeurrent literary tactics and to analyze the nature of his phlosophy and his moral concerns.</p> <p>Since to appreciate Ada it is necessary to understand the full depth of Nabokov' s originality of artistic strategy and the challenge of his philosophical inquiry--and simply because neither of these has been understood before--the thesis commences by considering the nature of Nabokov's style (Chapter 1, which concentrates on Ada) and his thought (Chapter 2, which draws on all his works) before examining each of the Parts of Ada in turn (Chapters 3-9). Ada is seen partly in terms of the differences between a first reading, rereadings, and a "final" reading of the novel but chiefly in terms of the mlnute correlations of phrase or incident--of a delicacy and complexity unequaled in fiction--which intensify the comedy and adventure of rereadings and establish the seriousness and the surprise of a final reading.</p> <p>The first two chapters of the thesis examine how Nabokov's curiosity about the position of consciousness in the unlverse shapes his strategies and style and directs his investigations of the nature of space, time and human consciousness and of the possibilities of forms of consciousness beyond the human. The analysis of Ada, will reveal--quietly at first but with increasltig resonance--the consistency of Nabokov's ideas of consciousness and yet the variety of concerns these ideas touch upon: the infinity of sensation and emotion and thought within the finitude of human existence; the mysterious possibility of a transmutation of mortal consciousness into some state of timelessness; the even more mysterious possibility of conscious design in the universe; the demand of moral responsibility that are inevitably bound up with the privilege of consciousness.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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