Brian Boyd

University of Auckland

Articles de l'auteur

Cycnos | Volume 24 n°1 | Lectures publiques

Lolita: What We Know and What We Don’t

Nabokov plays games with our knowledge and ignorance, as Humbert does with Lolita, and with Charlotte, and with us as readers, and as Valeria, Charlotte, Lolita and Clare Quilty do in their turn with Humbert. On a first reading Nabokov places us in a position of knowing some crucial information denied to other characters, but then of not knowing other crucial information until even after the characters concerned all know. On a rereading he then allows us to discover much more, so that for instance the obscure rival becomes Clare from the first. But I suspect Nabokov has hidden still more under our noses, if we keep re-rereading. Where has he planted his clues, and where might they lead?

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Cycnos | Volume 10 n°1

New Light on Nabokov’s Russian Years

“The reviewers who called my life of Nabokov “definitive” have obviously never written a biography or thought much about the genre. A “definitive” biography presupposes some complete possession of the truth, which only a madman would claim. As Nabokov himself says, “You can get nearer and nearer, so to speak, to reality; but you can never get close enough ... You can know more and more about one thing but you can never know everything about one thing: it’s hopeless.”1 Shakespeare’s legacy has been subject to closer scrutiny than perhaps anybody except GodR...”

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Cycnos | Volume 12 n°2

Words, Works and Worlds in Joyce and Nabokov

“I want to compare two writers and two novels I love and to ask whether the multiplication of labels and terms helps us see them better, either together or apart. Perhaps I should start by citing as my epitext, from Genette’s The Architext: “Jokes on the word text form a genre that seems to me indeed overworked.”1 Next, let me rub my Genette genie and borrow, steal, propose, adapt, and reassign some terms for some relations between words, works and worlds: intertextuality: the relationship between one work and other texts, by allusion and parody, or by accepting or chall...”

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