Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2015

Level of Access

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

English

Second Department or Program

German and Russian Studies

Number of Pages

144

First Advisor

Freedman, Sanford

Abstract

Vladimir Nabokov’s fourth novel, The Eye, is consistently characterized as his most obscure work. Despite comparatively slim critical attention, the work marked a seminal moment in Nabokov’s literary career, as it initiated his experimentation with perceptual distortions such as mirroring, mimicry, optics, and doubling all through the frame of unreliable narration. Going beyond conventionally untrustworthy narration, Nabokov presents an authorial consciousness that manipulates the narratory point of view through incredibly detailed encryptions, requiring the imaginative participation of readers in unmasking Nabokov’s second, “real” authorial plot. Although Nabokov openly dismissed the moral foregrounding associated with the doppelgänger motif, the thesis will explore the ways in which Nabokov frequently utilizes myriads of false doubles to create an imprint of artifice, which the reader must sift through in order to grasp the authorial “texture” beneath the overt text. Utilizing The Eye as well as several of Nabokov’s short stories as introductory prototypes of Lolita and Pale Fire, the thesis will explore the development of Nabokov’s increasingly intricate and deceptive ocular and aesthetic designs, which inculcate the creative participation of an audience, thereby making the perceptive reader a real and conscious double of the author.

Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Open Access

Available to all.

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