Belova T.N. Space and Time in the Novels of V. Nabokovʼs Art as a Multi-level Perspective
The article considers artistic aspects of V. Nabokov’s work, mainly the time and space perspective structure of his novels. This is not only the physical space of people’s world (Russia, Europe, the USA), but also the Otherworld that ensures philosophical depth of his work, his neoplatonic world outlook. The poetics of romanticism (the double worlds and double heroes) is used to counterpose two other worlds – the strange emigration world with its dull grey life as if beyond the grave and Nabokov’s Russia of his youth and childhood which is depicted as a vivid multicolored rainbow world with beautiful butterflies, the beloved, relations and the Motherland. Also Nabokov uses symbolic images and leit-motives to create these two worlds. Thus a huge Faber pencil, a Mother’s present, becomes in his novels a symbol of the enormous poetic gift of the young protagonist and his future fate of a famous writer. In Invitation to the Beheading the diminishing of the pencil brings the death of Cincinnat C. closer, etc.
A model-carriage of Nord-Express as well as a picture of a wild forest with a narrow path in it become the symbols of emigration, homelessness and transference to the other world, from which one can’t return. There are three categories of time in Nabokov’s prose: the present time of the narrator, the past time – hero’s life abroad and the past perfect time – his childhood and youth in Russia.
Also there are various artistic layers and kinds of intertextuality in Nabokov’s work. For instance, in Lolita there are the Old Testament’s Biblical symbolic images and the poetic correlation of Lolita’s image with the famous heroines of world literature in the works of Dante, Petrarca, E.A. Poe, L.Carroll, P. Merimée, etc. Such ramified intertextuality depicts the mythological consciousness of the marginal protagonist Humbert, the expert in European literature, who perceives everything through the prism of world literature. Thus the poetic world in the novel represents the richness of the language and metaphorical style in various semantic correlations, expressive poetic wealth and mere rythmical organization.
space and time category, Otherworld, romanticism, double worlds, double heroes, symbolic images and leit-motives, intertextuality