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Please read the book “The Luzhin Defence” and the book “Speak, Memory”; by Nabokov, and Alexander Dolinin’s articles:NABOKOV AS A RUSSIAN WRITER, NABOKOV VERSUS SIRIN (53),RUSSIAN VERSUS ENGLISH (54-5), THE EXILE VERSUS THE CITIZEN, NABOKOV AND RUSSIAN CLASSICS (58-61). The essay is based on the above materials.
Nabokov’s childhood versus Luzhin’s. What went right in Nabokov’s and wrong in Luzhin’s? Do you think Nabokov, when he describes his childhood in Speak,"Memory, wants us to think he was also a child prodigy of sorts? Why yes, why not? Do you think the treatment of this theme of the influence of one’s childhood, and the novel as a whole, are in any way particularly “Russian” or universal? Please make use of Dolinin’s article for the latter question and feel free to discuss Nabokov’s distaste of Freud, for whose theories the impact of one’s childhood was also of course of crucial importance.
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