Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University Bulletin, 2013, No.6, pp.177-187

Visualisaton as the narrative principle of V.Nabokov’s Despair

Polyanina A. S. 1 (Novosibirsk, Russian Federation)
1 Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University

Despair is the last V.Navokov’s novel written in Russian and its structure is unique. Hero’s text remarques, ‘caption’ dialogs, montage-like joint of episodes and close-ups allows us to refer the writing to the field of movie literature. At the same time the cinematograph can exist only at the metalevel because here it correlates with ‘speech’ and congruents with it at all points. The strategy of provocation is typical for the novel since the cinematograph is some kind of optical trick. Nabokov’s ‘word’ reveals ‘action’ and the cinema becomes a narrative device.
This article is devoted to the specific kind of visualization – the imitation of a movie screening in the narrative. Elements of Despair’s poetics of the cinema are analyzed in the aspects of character, plot and composition.


Visualisaton, Nabokov, narrative, 'kinopoetika' (cinema poetics), movie literature, narrative strategy


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Date of the publication 16.12.2013