Memory and Narrative in Three Vladimir Nabokov Novels: Lolita, Laughter in the Dark and Transparent Things
Dubova, Galina (2003)
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This study investigated the nature of the two notions, memories and time in relation to narrative in three Nabokov’s novels. The goal of the survey was to demonstrate that the protagonists’ evocation of their past affects the plot and distorts time in the novels. Time and the age gap between the male and female protagonists were treated in relation to the memory theme. The design was constructed to assess the whole aspect of memories, including its specific components. The motif of childhood was investigated from the two angles: firstly, the survey was constructed to reveal the protagonists’ references to the memories of their childhood; secondly, it explored how the motif of childhood was embedded in the characters’ personalities. The idea of cyclic return of the narrative in the novels was proposed. The results showed that the development of the narrative in the novels occurred with certain modifications, such as return, repetition and retardation, caused by the device of memory. This study supports the hypothesis that memories is a device which reverses the narrative and distorts time in the novels.