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    Vladimir Nabokov

    By: David Rampton

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    Vladimir Nabokov insisted that a writer's biography should concentrate on what he called the story of a style. In his case this means not only an account of elaborate metaphorical patterns, distinctive syntax, and arcane lexical registers, but a study ofthe novels' complex human drama, the matrices of literary allusion, the play of ambiguity and contradiction, the recurrence of scenes organized around meditations on aesthetic objects, and his penchant for a distinctive sort of suspended conclusion. Building on the impressive body of secondary material devoted to Nabokov's work, David Rampton tells that story as it develops over a novelistic career that lasted more than fifty years. He argues for a complex mix of change and continuity and concludes that the open-endedness of so much of Nabokov's fiction, the mysteries that abide, seem to be part of its point. The comprehensive portrait that results make this literary life essential reading for those studying Nabokov's work and for those curious to know more about one of the twentieth century's most compelling and provocative writers.

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