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Vladimir Nabokov et la France

Yannicke Chupin
Agnès Edel-Roy
Monica Manolescu
et al.

IV. Nabokov et la pensée française

Time in French, or Nabokov’s Mobile Image of Eternity

Leland de la Durantaye

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Extrait du texte

In his first published interview, Nabokov, then living in Berlin, said that there was no German influence on his work, but that “one might properly speak about a French influence” (Lectures on Literature, xx). This French influence was of many sorts, and began as early as Nabokov could remember, with his learning of the language as a small boy and his voracious early reading of its literature (he claimed, for instance, to have read all of Flaubert by the age of fifteen [Boyd, 1990, 91]). French is as timely and timeless as Nabokov’s other languages, but in it Nabokov found a particular interest in ideas on time, most notably in the writings of two of his “favorites,” Bergson and Proust (Strong Opinions, 43). Nabokov repeatedly and vehemently rejected influence as concerns his own writing, and as concerned all great writing. While he could hardly have been more categorical on the question in public pronouncements, his privately expressed views were more nuanced. Asked about the pheno...


Professeur de littérature à Claremont McKenna College, en Californie. Il est l’auteur de Style Is Matter : The Moral Art of Vladimir Nabokov (Cornell UP, 2007), Giorgio Agamben : A Critical Introduction (Stanford UP, 2009) et de Beckett’s Art of Mismaking (Harvard UP, 2016).

© Presses universitaires de Strasbourg, 2017

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