The Magician's Doubts: Nabokov and the Risks of Fiction



As A Child In Russia, Vladimir Nabokov Enjoyed Conjuring I Loved Doing Simple Tricks Turning Water Into Wine, That Kind Of Thing In This Engrossing Book Michael Wood Explores The Blend Of Arrogance And Mischief That Makes Nabokov Such A Fascinating And Elusive Master Of Fiction Wood Argues That Nabokov Is Neither The Aesthete He Liked To Pretend To Be Nor The Heavy Handed Moralist Recent Critics Make Him Major Works Like Pnin, Lolita, Pale Fire And Ada Appear In A New Light, But There Are Also Chapters On Earlier Works, Like The Real Life Of Sebastian Knight On Selected Short Stories And On The Translation Of Eugene Onegin,as Well As Detailed Discussions Of Nabokov S Ideas Of Literature, Memory, Pity, And Pain The Book Comes Fully To Terms With Nabokov S Blend Of Playfulness And Seriousness, Delving Into The Real Delight Of Reading Him And The Odd Disquiet That Lurks Beneath That Pleasure Wood S Speculations Spin Outward To Illuminate The Ambiguities And Aspirations Of The Modern Novel, And To Raise The Question Of How We Uncover The Author In A Work, Without Falling Into The Obvious Biographical Traps The Magician S Doubts Slices Through The Dustier Conventions Of Criticism And Never Loses Sight Of The Emotional And Sensual Pleasure Of ReadingThe Magician's Doubts: Nabokov and the Risks of Fiction

Librarian Note There isthan one author in the GoodReads database with this name See this thread forinformation Michael Wood born in Lincoln, England, is the Charles Barnwell Straut Class of 1923 Professor of English and Professor of comparative literature at Princeton University He is an alumnus of St John s College, Cambridge.Prior to teaching to Princeton, he taught at Columbia University, and at the University of Exeter in Devon, England.He was Director of the Gauss Seminars in Criticism at Princeton from 1995 2001, and chaired Princeton s English department from 1998 to 2004 He writes regularly for The New York Review of Books and on film for the London Review of Books.

!!> PDF ✮ The Magician's Doubts: Nabokov and the Risks of Fiction ❤ Author Michael  Wood – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Hardcover
  • 260 pages
  • The Magician's Doubts: Nabokov and the Risks of Fiction
  • Michael Wood
  • English
  • 04 March 2019
  • 0691006326

10 thoughts on “The Magician's Doubts: Nabokov and the Risks of Fiction

  1. says:

    I bought this book new in 1995 to be my guide on an ambitiously planned journey thru all Nabokov s English works I d come across it in a review that noted Wood s stated goal was to engage in an intense, even intimate dialogue with provocative texts and provide a report on the adventure of reading This trip, however, was postponed many times for many reasons, and the book patiently remained in mint condition there on the shelf Finally after a 20 year delay, I embarked last year on my adve I bought this book new in 1995 to be my guide on an ambitiously planned journey thru all Nabokov s English works I d come across it in a review that noted Wood s stated goal was to engage in an intense, even intimate dialogue with provocative texts and provide a report on the adventure of reading This trip, however, was postponed many times for many reasons, and the book patiently remained in mint condition there on the shelf Finally after a 20 year delay, I embarked last year on my adventure in reading , and as I d hoped, Michael Wood was indeed a perfect companion and sherpa, enhancing my understanding of the individual works as well as Nabokov s overriding themes The 20 or 30 pages he spends with each book are self contained essays, which make excellent Afterwards for a first read, and better Forwards for a reread Wood builds on the previous work done by Brian Boyd in Vladimir Nabokov The American Years with the same clear, enthusiasm It is a convincing critical work, which seems to be targetedtowards the laity than the academy

  2. says:

    It made me want to re read Nabokov very much and it made me want to write multilayered works with unreliable narrators very much So in those respects it is a very good book It has an episodic structure, with each chapter being a self contained essay on one of Nabokov s works in English In that respect the title which seemed to me to promise an organised scholarly polemic is misleading As a consequence of this misunderstanding I was disappointed by the lack of a formal conclusion t It made me want to re read Nabokov very much and it made me want to write multilayered works with unreliable narrators very much So in those respects it is a very good book It has an episodic structure, with each chapter being a self contained essay on one of Nabokov s works in English In that respect the title which seemed to me to promise an organised scholarly polemic is misleading As a consequence of this misunderstanding I was disappointed by the lack of a formal conclusion the book simply trails off at the end of the last episode in a way I found unsatsifactory The other thing that irritated me enough to make me lay the book down for half a day was Wood s assertion that a student s statement that when reading he skips bit so as not to be influenced by the author was a self evidently ridiculous statement, rather than a clumsy outline of a perfectly rational strategy for constructing valid readings of a text Garfield minus Garfield, anyone

  3. says:

    This weekend I was reading a few of Nabokov s Collected Stories, and turned back to Wood s inspired reading of Nabokov s novels According to my inscription in the front of the book, I first read it in October 1995 and I seem to have forgotten all of it, which isn t so bad since I got to read it again After my recent re read of Pale Fire, I m impressed by Wood s analysis he moves beyond the usual marveling at Nabokov s chess puzzle plots, wicked genius, synesthetic vocabulary, etc and puts This weekend I was reading a few of Nabokov s Collected Stories, and turned back to Wood s inspired reading of Nabokov s novels According to my inscription in the front of the book, I first read it in October 1995 and I seem to have forgotten all of it, which isn t so bad since I got to read it again After my recent re read of Pale Fire, I m impressed by Wood s analysis he moves beyond the usual marveling at Nabokov s chess puzzle plots, wicked genius, synesthetic vocabulary, etc and puts his finger on the pulse of pain, the demons of pity that haunt his work As much as I appreciate Brian Boyd and Michael Maar, Wood s book is a marvel of its own

  4. says:

    Anna you have to read this Such a wonderful critical effort, skillfully literary biographical.

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