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Approaches to Teaching Nabokov's Lolita

Editor(s): Zoran Kuzmanovich, Galya Diment

Pages: xiv & 190 pp.
Published: 2008
ISBN: 9780873529433 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780873529426 (hardcover)

"Professors Kuzmanovich and Diment have compiled a volume that can only improve the teaching of Nabokov’s best-known work."
Slavic and East European Journal

"The volume provides a wide array of useful information and suggestions for the first-time teacher of this fascinating and important novel. Even experienced teachers of Nabokov's writings can find much to stimulate interest and expand their horizons."

John Burt Foster, Jr., George Mason University

Widely considered one of the twentieth century's great novels, Lolita maintains an established place on the syllabus—in English departments, Russian and Slavic departments, and departments of comparative literature. Yet its particular mix of narrative strategies, ornate allusive prose, and troublesome subject matter complicates its presentation to students.

This volume aims to help instructors make Lolita accessible to students. Part 1, "Materials," opens with an extensive chronology of the author's life, outlines the novel's convoluted publication history, and identifies useful textual and audiovisual resources for teaching Lolita. In part 2, "Approaches," instructors reflect on the best ways to illuminate the novel's ethical quandries and introduce its textual intricacies. The twenty-two essays are grouped by three themes: instructors' experiences teaching Lolita in specific courses; the literary, generic, and cultural contexts of the novel, including its Russian roots, Romantic tropes and themes, and representation of 1950s American culture; and the theoretical approaches to the novel, which address ethics and aesthetics, the role of readers, and the connection between the author and the narrator.


Brian Boyd

David Clippinger

Julian W. Connolly

Marianne Cotugno

Dana Dragunoiu

Marilyn Edelstein

Paul Benedict Grant

Sarah Herbold

Jason Merrill

Priscilla Meyer

Claudia Moscovici

Eric Naiman

Dale E. Peterson

Ellen Pifer

Tania Roy

Corinne Scheiner

Samuel Schuman

Lisa Sternlieb

Leona Toker

Lisa Ryoko Wakamiya

John Whalen-Bridge

Michael Wood

Table of Contents 

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