The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291)
In this guest lecture, Teaching Fellow Andrew Goldstone provides us with some key concepts for understanding Modernism and Nabokov’s relation in particular to his literary forebears T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Marcel Proust. Positing the “knight’s move” as a description of Nabokov’s characteristically indirect, evasive style, Goldstone argues that Nabokov’s parodies of Modernist form in fact reveal his deep commitment to some of the same aesthetic principles. While the knight’s move often indicates a playful attitude towards tradition, it also betrays a traumatic rupture with the past, reflecting a sense of exile that links Nabokov’s art with the violence of Lolita’s protagonist, Humbert.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Defining Literary Modernism
10:01 – Chapter 2. The Knight’s Move: Nabokov on Tradition and Originality
15:56 – Chapter 3. The Influence of Joyce
27:35 – Chapter 4. Reading Nabokov as an Exile
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2008.