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Reception of Goncharov in Nabokov’s Works

Student: Anna Maslenova

Supervisor: Maria M. Gelfond

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities (Nizhny Novgorod)

Educational Programme: Philology (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2017

Nabokov is a modernist writer and all his writings are charged with the references to previous and contemporary literary tradition. Quite often such construction of Nabokov’s works was regarded as a lack of style and considered as heavy and artificial. Previous studies indicate that there was much less works on literal allusions as a marker of Nabokov’s talent. Only few researchers, such as Khodasevich, tried to analyze the complicated structure of Nabokov’s writings. The modern scientists contrary to the views of the previous studies are designed to assess how Nabokov’s texts create a dialogue with the literature tradition. The most interesting approaches to this issue have been proposed by Dolinin, Erofeev, Averin, Averintsev. The researchers examined the influence of Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Dostoevsky, as well as the contemporary writers on the works of Nabokov. However, there is a dearth of research concerning the influence of the novels written by Goncharov on Nabokov’s texts, although the existence of that sort of allusions is doubtless, because there are direct references to the novels of Goncharov. During the previous years of studying, the attempt to consider the reception of the novels of Goncharov "Oblomov" in the Nabokov’s novel " The Defense", as well as the novel "The Precipice" in "The Gift" was made. The purpose of the present study is to combine previous observations and to explore the presence of reception in other Nabokov’s texts, such as “Invitation to a Beheading”, “King, Queen, Knave” “The Defense” “Pnin”, “The Real Life of Sebastian Knight” and “Bend sinister”. Based on this purpose this work is suggested to answer the question whether Nabokov follows the novelistic tradition of Goncharov or just adopt some of his ideas and techniques and to analyze in what way he does it. The paper is organized into two sections. The first one describes the theory of Reader-response criticism and the second section is devoted to Nabokov’s novels.

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