Lectures on Literature

4.32 avg rating
( 1,538 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780151495979: Lectures on Literature

For two decades, first at Wellesley and then at Cornell, Nabokov introduced undergraduates to the delights of great fiction. Here, collected for the first time, are his famous lectures, which include Mansfield Park, Bleak House, and Ulysses. Edited and with a Foreword by Fredson Bowers; Introduction by John Updike; illustrations.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born poet, novelist, literary critic, translator, and essayist was awarded the National Medal for Literature for his life's work in 1973. He taught literature at Wellesley, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard. He is the author of many works including Lolita, Pale Fire, Ada, and Speak, Memory.

Review:

Not really essays, not genial and general E. M. Forster-ish talks either, nor stirring defenses nor rhetorical destructions, these lectures Nabokov prepared and gave at Cornell in the Fifties are just that: he talks and reads, we listen (the same general approach - heirophant picking out the mystery from the dross - that Nabokov used in his own fiction); and literature is taken apart like a boxful of toys: "impersonal imagination and artistic delight," "the supremacy of the detail over the general, of the part that is more alive than the whole." There are diagrams and drawings, quiddities made visual: a map of Sotherton Court in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park; exactly what kind of beetle Gregor Samsa turned into in "The Metamorphosis" the facade of 7 Eccles St., Bloom's house in Ulysses; what Odette's orchid looked like in Swann's Way. The more specific and crammed the writer, the more specific and crammed Nabokov's lecture: Dickens, Flaubert, Joyce. He finds Bleak House's tricks delicious, the richness and the pity; in Ulysses he swats away the Freudian interpretations ("a thousand and one nights [made] into a convention of Shriners") in favor of the devilish intricacy of Joycean synchronicity: "the hopeless past, the ridiculous and tragic present, and the pathetic future." Where sheer lush orchestration is less the thing, Nabokov falls back on thematic layering and transformation; before Stevenson's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" he is almost brief, enchantedly synopsizing although with microscopic attention still. In Nabokov a crankiness is always near the surface (here he rants against movies, even music); and he betrays a certain anxiety by detailing so much, as though a great work might try and fool him: there's something at the same time eccentric and regimental to his appreciation. But finally there is a personal, fussy, high rapture to these lessons and illustrations, not quite analytical (Nabokov was too defensive and contentious for analysis - maybe too brilliant, too) - more a delight in literature-as-camouflage. Distinctive and demanding. (Kirkus Reviews )

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Nabokov, Vladimir Vladimirovich
Published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
ISBN 10: 0151495971 ISBN 13: 9780151495979
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
WCC Corp.
(Moorpark, CA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0151495971. Bookseller Inventory # E3-746

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
39.53
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.84
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Nabokov, Vladimir Vladimirovich
Published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
ISBN 10: 0151495971 ISBN 13: 9780151495979
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0151495971 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0064575

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
47.52
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.84
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov
Published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1980)
ISBN 10: 0151495971 ISBN 13: 9780151495979
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110151495971

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
55.32
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.30
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov; Fredson Bowers
Published by Thomson Learning (1980)
ISBN 10: 0151495971 ISBN 13: 9780151495979
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Thomson Learning, 1980. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0151495971

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
61.89
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov
ISBN 10: 0151495971 ISBN 13: 9780151495979
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
AMAZINGBOOKDEALS
(IRVING, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW. Fast Shipping. Prompt Customer Service. Satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # 0151495971BNA

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
59.40
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.07
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Vladimir Nabokov
ISBN 10: 0151495971 ISBN 13: 9780151495979
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Castle Rock
(Pittsford, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97801514959791.0

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
78.21
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.07
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, Fredson Bowers (Editor), John Updike (Introduction)
Published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1980)
ISBN 10: 0151495971 ISBN 13: 9780151495979
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0151495971

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
84.47
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.07
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds