Abstract

Abstract:

As he prepared to write his autobiography, Vladimir Nabokov turned to the work of Victorian investigator of the paranormal, Frederic W. Myers. Myers’s concept of layered selfhood illuminates otherwise obscure connections between Nabokov’s treatment of immortality, family relationships, human evolution and sensory perception. Reading Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited in dialogue with Myers’s ideas points to a close engagement by Nabokov with the debates on the self in time that occurred on the cusp of the twentieth century. It brings to light the subtleties of the autobiography’s critique of Freud and nuances views of the text’s temporal structures as Bergsonian. The new view of Nabokov and Myers that emerges from reading the Nabokov archive suggests the possibility of fruitful interactions between genetic criticism and the history of ideas.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 19-32
Launched on MUSE
2016-09-29
Open Access
No
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