Is Reading like Doing Science? Paradigms of Reading in Nabokov's Fiction

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Semester

  • WS 17/18

Course Information

Nr. Kursbezeichnung Typ Zeit Raum DozentIn
154667 Is Reading like Doing Science? Paradigms of Reading in Nabokov's Fiction 2 HS Mi 16:00 - 17:30 R. 0.406 Müller-Lyaskovets

Course Description

Vladimir Nabokov’s commitment to discovery in literature and science is astounding. The author of famously scandalous Lolita and famously challenging Pale Fire, was also a researcher into one of the families of butterflies—the Blues. His contributions to the science of lepidopterology are less known but notable. One of his evolutionary hypotheses was confirmed by DNA analysis almost 70 years later. As a writer, translator, and scientist, Nabokov stressed a connection—“a kind of merging between the two things, between the precision of poetry and the excitement of pure science.” In his interviews, essays, and through his fiction, he insisted that, to unravel the life’s riddles in reading, as in science, one should exercise precision by “notic[ing] and fond[ling] details.” In this course, we will review the critical reading skills that Nabokov recommended in his lectures to apply these strategies to his own texts. This course will explore how Nabokov’s fiction challenges creative reader’s mind towards discovery through such textual elements as detail, design, pattern, or intra- and extra-textual references. Although our close reading approach to Nabokov is grounded in the belief that his texts turn not only on plot but rather on the use of language, we will use our observations to think about how Nabokov’s texts reflect the world outside of Nabokov’s fiction as well as the writer’s thematic preoccupations with time, memory, discovery, and art. From the catalog of Nabokov’s texts, I have chosen his Collected Stories. Specifically, we will be looking at a number of Nabokov’s short stories that represent the author’s different stylistic and thematic preoccupations or that additionally thematize the crossings between science and art. Optional course readings will be posted on the Moodle site to help you prepare better for your presentations.

Reading List

From the catalog of Nabokov’s texts, I have chosen his Collected Stories. Specifically, we will be looking at a number of Nabokov’s short stories that represent the author’s different stylistic and thematic preoccupations or that additionally thematize the crossings between science and art. Optional course readings will be posted on the Moodle site to help you prepare better for your presentations.

Modules

Modulzuordnungen
Lehramtsstudiengänge: MA Lehramt:1402, 1403 LPO 2003:
  • GHR:5b
  • GyGe: 7c, 7d
  • SP1. Fach: 5b
  • SP2. Fach: 4b
  • BK:7c, 7d
LABG 2009:
  • G: 703, 704
  • HRG: 602
  • GyGe/BK: 602, 701, 702
  • SP: 703
LABG 2016:
  • G: 602, 703, 704
  • HRSGe: 602
  • GyGe/BK: 602, 701, 702
  • SP: 703
Angewandte Sprachwissenschaften/

Angewandte Literatur-/Kulturwissenschaften:

  • B.A.ALK: Kern: 6abc, 7a Komp: 3abc
    • PO ab WS 16/17: Kern: 6abc, 7a Komp: 3abd
  • B.A.AS: Kern: 6bc Komp: 4a
    • PO ab WS 16/17: Kern 6bc Komp: 4a
  • M.A.ALK: 1abc
    • PO ab WS 16/17: 1acd
  • M.A.AS: 2ab
    • PO ab WS 16/17: 2ab