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Slavic Review praises Speak, Nabokov for pushing the boundaries of Nabokov studies

Phan Nguyen 7 July 2011

In the Summer 2011 issue of Slavic Review, Galya Diment bemoans the “share of stagnant conformity” in Nabokov studies and declares that challenging this conformity “is a healthy critical stance—especially if the challenge is grounded in a quest that is both critically reasonable and open-minded.”

This is Diment’s cue for Michael Maar’s Speak, Nabokov, a book that “bravely locate[s] [itself] outside the mainstream of Nabokov studies by going into territory neither Nabokov nor Nabokov loyalists would approve of.”

Diment questions Maar’s links between Vladimir Nabokov and Thomas Mann
but nevertheless finds Maar “masterful when he offers interpretations of Nabokov’s works for their own sake, without linking them to German antecedents.”

These parts are so good that even if one finds oneself fumingly disagreeing with most other points, Nabokov, Perversely and Speak, Nabokov are still worth reading.

See the Summer 2011 issue of Slavic Review to read the review in full (online access limited to subscribers).

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