Spring 2017

Vladimir Nabokov and the Writing of Exile

Listed in: English, as ENGL-315  |  European Studies, as EUST-228  |  Russian, as RUSS-225

Moodle site: Course


Polina Barskova (Section 01)


(Offered as RUSS 225, ENGL 315, and EUST 228.)  Nabokov made his literary career after leaving Russia, and he is essentially a writer of exile.  We will consider what that means for understanding his work:  how does longing for one's lost place, language, culture, and identity influence authorial choices? This course will explore various periods in Nabokov's creative biography (both the "Russian" and the "English" eras) and genres (novels, including Lolita and Pnin; poetry; and literary criticism). In addition, we will consider works by various writers (Ivan Bunin, Nadezhda Teffi, and Vladislav Khodasevich, to name a few) who influenced Nabokov’s writings on exile, as well as those who were influenced by him, notably Joseph Brodsky and Orhan Pamuk. All readings in English; no familiarity with Russian literature or culture expected.

Limited to 20 students.  Not open to first year students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Barskova.

If Overenrolled: Russian majors have priority; then by class level, starting with seniors


Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017