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V.V. Nabokov’s novel “The Real Life of Sebastian Knight” and “The Gambler” by F.M. Dostoevsky

S.A. Kibalnik
80,00 ₽

UDC 821.161.1-3


Kibalnik Sergey A.,

Doctor of Philology, Leading Researcher

Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House) of the

Russian Academy of Sciences;

Professor at St. Petersburg State University



Vladimir Nabokov’s novel “The Real Life of Sebastian Knight” is not one of those works of the writer, which reveal a clear orientation to Dostoevsky. And yet, it has both obvious and rather hidden traces of the presence of this Russian classical writer’s images. Although Nabokov himself never mentioned Dostoevsky’s novel “The Adolescent”, however, in the development of the main plot conflict of his novel there are characters and images inspired by this novel. At the same time, it is quite noticeable that certain characters of Nabokov’s novel — Mister Bishop, Madame Lecerf, Sebastian, V. — are partly stylized as the characters of Dostoevsky’s novel “The Gambler” — Mr. Astley, m-lle Blanche, Alexei Ivanovich. Finally, there are also some reminiscences of other Dostoevsky’s works in “The Real Life…” and its certain relationship with the poetics of the writer. This article represents a detailed analysis of this obligatory and optional intertextuality of Nabokov’s novel with Dostoevsky’s works.

Keywords: Nabokov, Dostoevsky, novel, literature, Russian, English, intertextual, cryptographical, cryptopoetics, “The Real Life of Sebastian Knight”, “The Gambler”.



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