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Vladimir Nabokov et la France

Yannicke Chupin
Agnès Edel-Roy
Monica Manolescu
et al.

I. L'Invention de la France et de l'Europe

Fluid Spaces, Illusive Identities: Nabokov’s Depiction of France in the Late 1930s

Julian W. Connolly

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Extrait du texte

Evocations of French landscapes and French characters crop up in Nabokov’s writings throughout his career, from the “ancient port in the South of France” visited by Nikitin in “The Seaport” (published in 1924) (Stories, 60) to “the Carlton Courts in Cannes,” where Flora lost her virginity to a ball boy in the unfinished Original of Laura (Laura, 77). As diverse as these references are, however, I think we can detect in Nabokov’s treatment of France in his fiction of the late 1930s a distinctive set of characteristics: the émigré characters he depicts encounter a realm of pervasive instability or unreliability in space, time, and even identity. It is the premise of this essay that Nabokov’s own experience in France in the late 1930s involved a considerable amount of dislocation and anxiety, and that he reflected this condition in his fiction. The chronotope of France depicted in his fiction is not the happy, tranquil, and stable site recalled in his memoirs of childhood summers spent...


Professeur de littérature et langue russes à l’Université de Virginie. Il est l’auteur de plusieurs livres : Ivan Bunin (1982), Nabokov’s Early Fiction : Patterns of Self and Other (1992), The Intimate Stranger : Meetings with the Devil in Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature (2001), A Reader’s Guide to Nabokov’s Lolita (2009) et Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov (2013). Il a aussi édité les recueils collectifs Nabokov’s Invitation to a Beheading : A Course Companion (1997), Nabokov and His Fiction : New Perspectives (1999) et The Cambridge Companion to Nabokov (2005).

© Presses universitaires de Strasbourg, 2017

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