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University of Toronto · Academic Electronic Journal in Slavic Studies

Toronto Slavic Quarterly

Jerome H. Katsell

Pnin: The Perils of Repetition

“But don’t you think-haw-that what
he is trying to do-haw-practically
in all his novels-haw-is-haw-to
express the fantastic recurrence
of certain situations?”

Pnin, Chapter Six, Section 9, (159.25-28), Joan Clements.

Pnin the novel is bursting with repetitions and recurrences. One may note almost at random, among many others, Timofey’s “constant war with insensate objects,” his accented paratactic English, his passion for timetables (blissful notations promising security and order, unless they happen to be a few years out of date), squirrels (eidetic, real, photographed and stuffed), who pop up frequently throughout the novel, referenced in five languages (English, Russian, French, Latin and Greek), his suffering of periodic heart spells attended by the pounding, painful repetitions of tachycardia, his planned petite histoire of Russia, an attempt to recreate and repeat characteristic moments of an entire culture in miniature, illustrated within the narrative texture of the novel in brief segments depicting Russian émigré life in America during the gathering at Al Cook’s Castle. Patterns, repetitions, recurrences, their use and deviations from them, their implications for Nabokov’s philosophy of literary creation and scientific philosophy in Pnin are central to this inquiry.

Various attempts have been made to provide a theoretical underpinning for details and themes that recur and call attention to themselves in Nabokov’s work in general and particularly in Pnin. For example, in his groundbreaking study of Pnin, Phantom of Fact, Gennadi Barabtarlo opines that “[T]he ‘fantastic recurrence of certain situations,’ or the reappearance of disguised and conjoined themes, is the principle feature of Pnin’s composition and of Nabokov’s novelistic art in general.” [1] Even more generally, the idea or technique of imitating or attempting to recreate the surface of reality to get at the inner life of fictional characters is embodied in the venerable term mimesis, made famous, of course, by the magisterial study of the literatures of the West by Erich Auerbach.[2] Odysseus’s return to Ithaca in the Odyssey, recognized by the old nurse Euryclea from the scar on his thigh, the digression to memory of boyhood when wounded by a boar while on a hunt and his then first, harrowing return to the family hearth in Ithaca—the idea of memory, return and recurrence that inform consciousness in the present will be seen to play a key role in Pnin as well.

In Søren Kierkegaard’s short book, Repetition: An Essay In Experimental Psychology, a companion piece to his much better known Fear and Trembling (1843), repetition is equated with freedom; repetition is “the interest of metaphysics…,”and “true repetition is eternity.” [3] Kierkegaard sharply divided “repetition” from “recollection,” finding that “what was recollected has been, is repeated backwards, whereas repetition properly so called is recollected forwards.” [4]   It was recollection forward, willed knowledge into the future of freedom and eternity, that for Nabokov remained a problematical-yet-compelling metaphysical gravitational pull. Consciousness and its concomitant sense of control is threatened in the liminal space abutting a possible metaphysical realm, as we see and hear, for example, in the immediately post-execution finale of Invitation to a Beheading: “… and amidst the dust, and the falling things, and the flapping scenery, Cincinnatus made his way in that direction where, to judge by the voices, stood beings akin to him.” [5]

Despite the so-called “otherworldly” school of Nabokov criticism closely associated with the name of Vladimir Alexandrov, other critics hesitate to see such metaphysical, perhaps religious transcendence in the work. Maurice Couturier, for example, in Nabokov ou la cruauté du desire: lecture psychanalytique, subjects Nabokov’s oeuvre, focusing thankfully on the characters rather than their creator, to a Lacanian analysis whereby consciousness of self, the very essence of what constitutes human nature, obtains paradoxically because of a sensed missing aspect of our being, a “manque d’être.”  Consciousness is defined as the desire to overcome a cruelly felt ontological inner lack; this process, or desire makes up being. [6] Repetitive or ever- present cruelty of this kind, what Couturier labels “of the real,” [du réel], may be conjectured in Pnin as the eponymous hero’s attempt to integrate an often disorienting present with the inexorable centripetal pull of visions linked to Russian memories. Such a moment is highlighted by the narrator, VV, in one of his frequent interventions, (themselves a variety of  trope for repetition), during Pnin’s first heart seizure in the park in Whitchurch:

“Unless a film of flesh envelops us, we die. Man exists only insofar as he is separated from his surroundings. The cranium is a space-traveler’s helmet. Stay inside or you perish. Death is divestment, death is communion. It may be wonderful to mix with the landscape, but to do so is the end of the tender ego. … And suddenly Pnin (was he dying?) found himself sliding back into his own childhood.” [7]

In contradistinction to the recent views of Couturier that implicate a dependence on a felt inner lack of being as central to Nabokov’s philosophical-aesthetic outlook, Brian Boyd finds that “independence and pattern are the two poles of the axis around which Nabokov’s metaphysics and epistemology revolve.” [8]   In answer to the seemingly implacable narrator of Pnin, who posits the “divestment” of death as the ending of consciousness, Boyd cites to Transparent Things for the proposition that it may be possible from Nabokov’s viewpoint to experience “not the crude anguish of physical death but the incomparable pangs of the mysterious mental maneuver needed to pass from one state of being to another.” [9] Boyd describes Nabokov’s aesthetic struggle to preserve the “tender ego” as follows: “A peep past the brain’s iron ring might come in the momentary insight of ecstasy, and a final breaking free in death .… And if a state beyond death cannot be examined by the reason, it can be explored by the imagination.”

In Boyd’s approach, as expressed in his study, Nabokov’s Ada: The Place of Consciousness (2001), he posits, on the basis mainly of Nabokov’s own assertions in Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited (1967), and Strong Opinions (1973), a potential metaphysics structured by a recurrent helical design: “its initial coil is the world of space, the second, the world of time, the third the world of human, time-bound consciousness, and the next, if there is another stage, a consciousness beyond time.” In the initial exploration of Nabokov’s literary and scientific philosophy, Boyd asserts that human consciousness is manifest only in a transient present, but “has access to the past through memory operating within the present of consciousness.” [10] The past is accessible through memory traces, in Nabokov’s case vivid, detailed, reconstructive memory trances, memory as a form of consciousness by which he, according to Boyd “can endlessly reinvestigate it to discover new harmonies and designs. Such a form of consciousness would satisfy Nabokov’s passion for pattern even as it satisfied his love for unhindered freedom.” [11]

According to Boyd the future in Nabokov does not exist, or is at least is not accessible to human consciousness. There is a striking moment near the end of Chapter Six of Pnin wherein our hero has learned that his plans for the near future, remaining at Waindell perhaps with tenure and a salary increase, ownership of a small but cozy house with its own professorial study, kabinet, his life on the upbeat (Clements describes Pnin happily as one who “employs a nomenclature all his own. His verbal vagaries add a new thrill to life. His mispronunciations are mythopoeic. His slips of the tongue are oracular. He calls my wife John.”) [12] , then it all comes crashing down with the news from Hagen that Pnin’s academic career at Waindell will soon come to an end unless he is willing to work under the supervision of “one of your most brilliant compatriots….” In his despair Pnin thinks he has broken the beautiful and charming aquamarine bowl given to him by Victor. Pnin’s potential future appears at that moment to be dark and bleak, yet is intensely present: “Pnin hurled the towel into a corner and, turning away, stood for a moment staring at the blackness beyond the threshold of the open back door.” [13]

Unlike Fyodor in The Gift, or John Shade in Pale Fire, Pnin does not experience conscious intimations of a metaphysical realm, but his inter-textual connection to the latter work via his duel dream shared with Victor in Chapter Four of an escaping isolated king, a solus rex, “fleeing through great pools of ink under a cloud-barred moon from a chimerical palace…,” waiting “for some mysterious deliverance to arrive in a throbbing boat from beyond the hopeless sea,” [14] and his new and last address of 999 Todd Road tie the unraveling of his character to the idea of pattern and recurrence, to what Boyd has called: “the elusive presence of design” that just might “indicate the possible participation of higher forms of consciousness in the ordinary world of our experience.” [15]   All this takes place beyond the ken of Pnin, and beyond the ken of the narrator VV, but somewhere in the mind of the creator of the Pninian world.

Various philosophical traditions have been offered to account for Nabokov’s binding together space, time, consciousness, memory, the search for freedom and intimations of the metaphysical into a ludic yet far from insouciant fictional universe. Underlying all of Nabokov’s work is the belief or desire to believe in a monistic and eternal transcendent reality. Nabokov stated famously in a 1966 interview with Alfred Appel Jr. that: “Philosophically, I am an indivisible monist.” [16]   His work appears to take part in a gnostical-like belief in a transcendent reality which can occasionally be glimpsed through narrow breaks in the material world, a transcendent reality fully attained, if at all, in death. Nabokov’s universe is teleological in the sense that natural phenomena are not unilaterally determined; mechanical causes exist for them but are wrapped in nature’s overall design or purpose.

Hints are given to Pnin, by way of memory’s intrusion into a searing present, of a universe outside the world of natural phenomena. Let us return for a moment to Pnin’s heart spell in Chapter One, Section 2 of the novel when “the repulsive automaton he lodged had developed a consciousness of its own and not only was grossly alive but was causing him pain and panic.” [17]   The attentive reader will notice that information given immediately above the just quoted partial sentence indicates that this is the fifth recurrence of the heart ailment, and that the words “pain” and “panic” that characterize our hero’s physical and emotional reaction to it, are easily anagrammatic for “Pnin.” Moreover, the dream itself as related by the narrator not only repeats the phrase “pain and panic” but is festooned with the voiceless consonant “p” and its voiced pair “b,”

“A poor cocooned pupa, Timosha (Tim) lay under a mass of additional blankets; they were no avail against the branching chill that crept up his ribs from both sides of his frozen spine. He could not close his eyes because his eyelids stung so. Vision was but oval pain with oblique stabs of light; familiar shapes became the breeding places of evil delusions. Near his bed was a four-section screen of polished wood, with pyrographic designs  representing a bridle path felted with fallen leaves, a lily-pond, and old man hunched up on a bench, and a squirrel holding a reddish object in its front paws. Timosha, a methodical child, had often wondered what the object could be (a nut? a pine cone?), and now that he had nothing else to do, he set himself to solve this dreary riddle, but the fever hummed in his head and drowned every effort in pain and panic. Still more oppressive was his tussle with the wallpaper. He had always been able to see that in the vertical plane a combination made up of three different clusters of purple flowers and seven different oak leaves was repeated a number of times with soothing exactitude; but now he was bothered by the undismissable fact that he could not find what system of inclusion or circumscription governed the horizontal recurrence of the pattern; that such a recurrence was          proved by his being able to pick out here and there, all along the wall from bed to wardrobe and from stove to door, the reappearance of this or that element of the series…” [18]

There appears here to be an obvious patterning of B’s and P’s. The young Timosha in the detail-packed, pattern-obsessed, dream-memoir passage is being treated for a fever by none other than the pediatrician Dr. Belochkin, father of Mira Belochkin, whom we are to learn was Pnin’s first love, tragically lost to him initially to the Revolution in Russia and ultimately to Nazi barbarism. The name Belochkin is derived from “belka,” or “squirrel” in Russian. Squirrels play a shadowy role in the novel, appearing periodically and portending something mysterious in the time-space field surrounding Pnin. The quoted seizure-passage itself contains, as noted above, the first appearance of a squirrel in the novel where the pyrographic designs on the screen of polished wood reveal: “an old man hunched up on a bench, and a squirrel holding a reddish object in its front paws.” When he recovers from his seizure, Pnin, who is described in the second word of the novel as “elderly,” and who is hunched on a stone bench in Whitchurch Park is greeted by “[A] gray squirrel sitting on comfortable haunches on the ground before him …sampling a peach stone.” [19]   Now Pnin in the present seems to recreate or repeat the image in his memory-dream: old man, bench, squirrel holding a “reddish object,” possibly a peach stone. This appears to be a pattern somehow related to Pnin’s destiny, one that implicates his loss, the longing for the Russian past that formed him, yet a pattern that includes his present, somewhat precarious and muddled existence. The B’s and P’s are like the repeated percussive drum or heartbeat of his life, like an “inexorably moving railway coach”: Belochkin, Pnin, Belochkin, Pnin, Belochkin, Pnin. Brian Boyd asserts that we find here as well as throughout Nabokov’s work what may be termed: “patterns of fate” which “can be clumsy, subtle, or inexplicable: the heavy hand of calamity; a delicate flexibility that may be chance or design; the baffling presence of coincidence or foreshadowing.” [20]

Pnin’s dream-memory also includes Dr. Belochkin’s examination of the ill eleven-year-old Timosha, apparently congruent with the standards of 1909 Russian medicine: “…Timofey’s torso was bared, and to it Belochkin pressed the icy nudity of his ear and the sandpapery side of his head. Like the flat sole of some monopode, the ear ambulated all over Timofey’s back and chest, gluing itself to this or that patch of skin and stomping on to the next.” [21] What Nabokov considered pseudo-science, particularly Freudian psychiatry as lampooned in the characters of Liza and Eric Wind, as well as linguistics, is taken to task throughout Pnin. Recently the seeming incongruity between Nabokov the metaphysician and Nabokov the rational scientist has attracted increased scholarly notice. Dana Dragunoiu has called attention to Nabokov’s rejection in no small part of Darwin’s theory of natural selection based on what she terms his “strong metaphysical investment.” [22] In her analysis she finds that Nabokov throughout his creative life as a lepidopterist, poet, critic, playwright, translator, teacher, short story writer, lecturer, public intellectual and novelist displays a “dual allegiance to science and metaphysics.” [23]  She traces such a dual allegiance to positions staked out beginning in 1902 in a symposium called Problems of Idealism, which was closely associated with leading members of the liberal Constitutional Democratic Party (Kadet), including Nabokov’s father Dmitri Vladimirovich. For the leading Kadets an anti-Darwinist, liberal idealism based on metaphysical principles (many were religious conservatives like Nabokov’s father), was deployed to combat the rampant naturalism, materialism and positivism of early 20th century Russian intellectual and political life. The Kadet idealists favored a separation of empirical scientific thought from the ethical or metaphysical variety. They labeled the importation of one form of thought into the other as “contraband,” and believed that such a situation leads to muddled thinking. The Kadet idealists rejected the ability of science to resolve ultimate questions of evolution because, in the words of their fellow idealist and philosopher Sergey Bulgakov, “science studies only fragments of a reality that widens constantly beyond the eyes of the scientist.” [24]  As the inheritor of a worldview similar to his father’s but without its religious component, Nabokov employs what has been termed a “scientific liberalism.” [25] This approach, in the words of Dragunoiu, applies to “the kind of science practiced by Nabokov: his novels, the prefaces to his novels, and his interviews testify to the fact that he never lost sight of the limitations of science and the imperative for tolerance of other views in the pursuit of scientific truth.” [26]

Steven Blackwell’s current book-in-progress also focuses on the interrelationship of Nabokov the writer-artist and Nabokov the scientist. [27] Blackwell points to what he calls in Nabokov’s work “anomalies in the evolution of life,”–he gives the example of non-utilitarian mimicry–that may indicate …“the existence of an invisible, unknowable wider context for phenomenal being with which it is intimately connected.” Science as we know it is practiced by “revisability and reversibility.” [28]   This is the methodology by which science finds its limitations and moves forward toward the as-yet-unexplained. Pattern, repetition, recurrence, reversals and revision are also characteristic of Pnin the novel. Unanticipated recurrent reversals and new beginnings follow Pnin throughout: for example, his apparent regaining of Lisa’s affections and sudden realization of their loss to Eric Wind on the transatlantic crossing; Pnin’s sudden dismissal from Waindell at a moment he relished as a personal and hopefully professional triumph.  His break for freedom, after rejecting the blandishments of the narrator to stay on at the college as his jack-of-all-trades for things Russian, comes in the final passages of the novel, embedded in a piling up of repeated recurrences that hold out hope for the possibility of transcendence:

“…a great truck carrying beer rumbled up the street, immediately followed by a small pale blue sedan with the white head of a dog looking out, after which came another great truck, exactly similar to the first. … and everything surged forward—truck one, Pnin, truck two. … Then the little sedan boldly swung past the front truck and, free at last, spurted up the shining road, which one could make out narrowing to a thread of gold in the soft mist where hill after hill made beauty of distance, and where there was simply no saying what miracle might happen.” [29] (emphases mine, JK)

    Pnin, who is metonymically represented by his pale blue sedan, seems stuck between two gross, great-truck chunks of implacable, poshlust-saturated reality, yet he rejects mechanical repetition, the very idea that things can be “exactly similar,”and with vibrant energy that contains more than a sexual tinge, “spurts” up the shining road looking for a miracle. The vehicle in question was purchased by Pnin from a student: “[A]n irresistible senior enrolled in his Russian Language course, Marilyn Hohn, sold him for a hundred dollars her humble old car: she was getting married to the owner of a far grander machine.” [30] “Hohn” in German means “scorn,” “disdain,” “mockery,” even “insult.” Does the use of this word by the creator of the novel simply act as a foreshadowing that for Pnin no miracles can happen, (his resurrection in Pale Fire as a successful academic elsewhere seems to belie this interpretation), or does this Epiphany-like passage as Pnin leaves Waindell for good betoken, as Blackwell asserts, that: “…’miracles’ of nature, or of life, do seem to indicate a designing presence, but that they seem to do so is, as Kant demonstrated, a necessary part of the way human beings perceive the world”? [31] What is perhaps “irresistible” for Nabokov was not a 1950s Marilyn, nor Pnin’s victimization by petty, idiotic, social- Darwinian academic politics, but his effort, in Blackwell’s words: “to suggest that nature was not purely mechanistic and driven by causality. There must be, he felt, alongside or even above selection and competition, another force behind nature: one that drives the development of life and its intricacies in the first place.” [32]

In a letter to Edmund Wilson dated February 18, 1957 Nabokov wrote: “One exquisite point about Pnin is the little conversation between Pnin and Chateau about me and the blue butterflies at their feet. I actually described and named that particular Lycaenid (Lycaeides samuelis Nabokov, type locality Karner, near Albany, N.Y.).” [33]

“A score of small butterflies, all of one kind, were settled on a damp patch of sand, their wings erect and closed, showing their pale undersides with dark dots and tiny orange-rimmed peacock spots along the hind-wing margins; one of Pnin’s shed rubbers disturbed some of them and, revealing the celestial hue of their upper surface, they fluttered around like blue snowflakes before settling again.” [34]

The description of the butterflies, a lovely example of Nabokovian exactitude and beauty, is also replete with repetitions. The butterflies are “all of one kind,” their wings in a similar position, their markings collectively the same, their movements to the same purpose. Yet there is a hint in the word “snowflakes” that nothing like absolute cloning captures the similarity of the butterflies. Snowflakes are notoriously varied in their crystalline water molecule structure, each flake a unique design, the chance of an exact replica, physics and mathematics tell us, is indistinguishable from zero in the lifetime of the universe. “Snowflakes” in the given context point to the kind of complex repetition developed by Gilles Deleuze, wherein a repetition has enfolded within itself a difference that unmasks the possibility of an epistemology of the metaphysical.

The startled butterflies fly up, flutter around and then spiral back to where they had previously settled on the damp patch of sand. Such action provides a visual image of flight through repeated wing motion, glide and return, metaphorically depicting Pnin’s inexorable movement through space and time. Marina Grishakova, following ideas regarding repetition developed by Henri Bergson and expanded by Deleuze, finds in Nabokov’s work a “recurrent plot scheme of return”. Pnin the novel figures an extensive, “productive” repetition that “involves an object or event [one recalls the seizure-dream sequence at Whitchurch Park, JK], whose return becomes a source of change and further differentiation: through it the past is created anew from the present.” [35] Nabokov did not believe in a Nietzschean principle of eternal return that requires a posthumous, exact and endless repetition of what has been, or in a myth of eternal return as espoused by Mircea Eliade that is centered of the primal cosmogonic act of world creation. He believed that full human consciousness is centered in the mind and its thirst for unfettered expansion through time and space. As Brian Boyd has so articulately stated:

“Nabokov’s rage for freedom makes him feel that we are cruelly confined, by the very nature of our consciousness, to the present moment. Yet at the same time within the present our reflexive consciousness is wonderfully free to share in all that sense, emotion and thought can offer. Through memory, moreover, we are further liberated, able to range beyond the present moment at least in imagination, and when memory is working at its highest so as to be able to pattern the past Nabokov feels that we can taste the flavor of a consciousness no longer bound by time. [36]

Pnin’s firmness in his decision to leave Waindell even earlier than he strictly would be required is a testament to his instinctive drive to create his own destiny, his own petite histoire that will lead him with the aid of recurrent memory through time and space to where a pale fire burns in the metaphysical afterlife of “the blackness beyond the threshold of the open back door.” [37]

[1] Gennadi Barabtartlo,  Phantom of Fact: A Guide to Nabokov’s Pnin (Ann Arbor, Ardis Publishers, 1989), p. 247.

[2] Erich Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literatures, tr. Willard R. Trask, (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1953 ), pp. 3-5.

[3] Søren Kierkegaard, Repetition: An Essay in Experimental Psychology (Princeton, Princeton U. Pr., 1946), pp. xxvii.

[4] Ibid., p. 4.

[5] Vladimir Nabokov, Invitation to a Beheading, tr. Dmitri Nabokov in collaboration with the author, (New York: Vintage International, 1989), 233.

[6]   Maurice Couturier, Nabokov ou la cruauté du desire: lecture psychoanalytique, (Seyssel: Champ Vallon, 2004).

[7] Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin, (New York: Vintage International, 1989), pp. 20-21.

[8] Brian Boyd, Nabokov’s Ada: The Place of Consciousness, 2nd Edition, (Christchurch: Cybereditions, 2001), p. 19. 

[9] Vladimir Nabokov, Transparent Things (Vintage International, 1989), p. 104.

[10] Boyd, Ibid., p. 82.

[11] Boyd, op. cit., p. 83.

[12] Pnin, Ibid., p. 165.

[13] Pnin, op. cit., 172. Although Nabokov could not be aware them, modern astrophysics postulates in some of its theories of cosmology so-called dark or black matter, a previously undetected form of matter that accounts for a significant portion of the mass of the universe.

[14] Pnin, op. cit., 110. Pnin’s house is on the corner of Todd and Cliff (“A leetle breek house and a beeg blahk cleef”, 151), and he is about to fall over an emotional cliff after his “little house-heating soiree,” 151. The “beeg blahk cleef” is perhaps a foreshadowing of Pnin’s temporary catatonia in the last section of Chapter 6 (Section 13), when he “stood for a moment staring at the blackness beyond the threshold of the open back door”, 172.

[15] Boyd, op. cit., 93.

[16] Strong Opinions (Vintage International, 1990), p. 85.

[17] Pnin, op. cit., 21.

[18] Pnin, op. cit., pp. 22-23. The author took five other 30-line passages at random from the novel and found that Bs and Ps are on average twice as frequent in the quoted lines, in round numbers 60 to 30.

[19] Pnin, op. cit., pp. 24-25.

[20] Boyd, op. cit., p. 75.

[21] Pnin, op. cit., p. 22.

[22] Dana Dragunoiu, “Vladimir Nabokov’s Anti-Darwinism and the Russian Neo-Idealist  Tradition,” AAASS, Philadelphia, 2008, p. 1. The author thanks professor Dragunoiu for sharing her insights.

[23] Dragunoiu, Ibid., p. 2.

[24] Dragunoiu, op. cit., p. 6.

[25] Kendall E. Bailes, Science and Russian Culture in the Age of Revolutions: V.I. Vernadsky and his Scientific School, 1863-1945, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990), p. 81.

[26] Dragunoiu, op. cit., p. 14.

[27] Steven Blackwell. Quotations that follow will cite to Chapter Two (“Nabokov as Scientist”) and Chapter Seven (“Minding the Gap: Discontinuities in Nature, Art, and Science”) of Blackwell’s forthcoming book on Nabokov as artist and scientist. The author wishes to thank Professor Blackwell for his generosity in sharing these materials with him.

[28] Blackwell, ibid., p. 232

[29] Pnin, op. cit., p. 191.

[30] Pnin, op.cit., p. 113. It remains unexplained why this particular student is “irresistible,” presumably to Pnin, but possibly to the narrator.

[31] Blackwell, op. cit., p. 41.

[32] Blackwell, op. cit., 41.

[33] Simon Karlinsky, ed., The Nabokov-Wilson Letters, 1940-1971, Revised and Expanded Edition (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), p. 341.

[34] Pnin, op. cit., p. 128.

[35] Marina Grishakova, The Models of Space, Time and Vision in V. Nabokov’s Fiction, (Tartu: Tartu University Press, 2006), p. 110.

[36] Boyd, op. cit., p. 79.

[37] Pnin, op. cit. , p. 110.



1.     Alexandrov, Vladimir 199l. Nabokov’s Otherworld (Princeton: Princeton University Press).

2.     Barabtarlo, Gennadi 1989. Phantom of Fact: A Guide to Nabokov’s Pnin (Ann Arbor: Ardis).

3.     Baudrillard, Jean 1981. Simulacres et simulation (Paris: Editions Galilee).

4.     Boyd, Brian 2001. Nabokov’s Ada: The Place of Consciousness, 2nd Ed. (Christchurch: Cybereditions).

5.     Connolly, Julian, ed. 1999. Nabokov and His Fiction: New Perspectives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)

1.   6.  Couturier, Maurice 1993. Nabokov ou la tyrannie de l’auteur (Paris: Éditions Du Seuil).

7.    Долинин, Александр 2004. Истинная жизнь писателя Сирина анкт-Петербург: Академический проект).

8.  Eliade, Mircea 1954. The Myth of the Eternal Return, tr. Willard R. Trask (New York: Bollengen Foundation).

   9.  Grishakova, Marina 2006. The Models of Space, Time and Vision in V. Nabokov’s Fiction: Narrative Strategies and Cultural Frames (Tartu: Tartu University Press).

10. Kierkegaard, Søren 1946. Repetition: An Essay in Experimental Psychology, tr. Walter Lowrie (Princeton: Princeton University Press).

11.  Nabokov, Vladimir 1989. Pnin (New York: Vintage Press).

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