Analysis of Nabokov’s Pnin and Lolita
First make sure you have read Nabokov’s Pnin and Lolita, there are 3 parts of this essay, each part is 3 pages.
Using both Pnin and Pniniad, please discuss in detail the difference between Pnin as an Alien and Pnin as an Exile and how it is presented by Nabokov. Feel free to trace the transformation of the work from the New Yorker stories to the finished novel and how that affected the Alien-Exile dichotomy in the protagonist.
Please argue – or agree – with the statement that Lolita is “The only convincing love story of our century.” Even if you vehemently disagree with this characterization, what do you think makes it possible for some critics – and filmmakers – to see Lolita as a “love story”? If you agree, how do you reconcile Humbert’s treatment of Lolita with any kind of “romance”? Where do you think is Nabokov in it all? Did he want at least some ambiguity to be there? In your analysis please use at least 4 critical articles among those we have read on Lolita.
Many critics see HH in Despair as a precursor of HH in Lolita. Nabokov himself drew somewhat of a distinction between the two in his Foreword to the English translation of Despair: “Both are neurotic scoundrels, yet there is a green lane in Paradise where Humbert is permitted to wander at dusk once a year; but Hell shall distinction? Is it a matter of the relative severity of their crime – or difference in their personalities? In your analysis please use Connolly’s and Cornwell’s articles in the Companion
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