The American Novel Since 1945

Yale Course , Spring 2008 , Prof. Amy Hungerford

48 students enrolled

Overview

Introductions - Richard Wright, Black Boy - Flannery OConnor, Wise Blood - Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita - Guest Lecture by Andrew Goldstone - Jack Kerouac, On the Road - J. D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey - John Barth, Lost in the Funhouse - Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 - Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye - Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior - Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping - Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian - Philip Roth, The Human Stain - Edward P. Jones, The Known World - Students Choice Novel: Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated

Lecture 7: Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (cont.)

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        Lecture Details

        In the last of three lectures on Lolita, Professor Amy Hungerford discusses the broader context of Nabokovs relation to his novel both the debate it inspires surrounding censorship and artistic originality, and the concern it evokes in him about the work of arts distillation of the living world or word. Hungerford masterfully draws connections between Nabokovs interest in lepidoptery—butterfly collecting—with his evident fear that the printed word become lapidary, or stone-like. Just as we can no longer appreciate the beauty of a butterflys motion, once it has been pinned down, so too might living language fall victim to a kind of violence on the page, a formal equivalent to the thematic violence that increases as the novel progresses.

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