Invited to a Beheading: A Real Individual in Search of Freedom

Bahare Jalali Farahani, Javad Momeni

Abstract


Among the most prominent political novels of the twentieth century, Invitation to a Beheading is the acme of Nabokov’s art in that it was embellished by the finest Nabokovian techniques, and was enriched by thought- provoking ideas. This study is aimed to offer a narratological reading of this novel in search of what its implied author has pictured as the meaning of genuine freedom intended by Nabokov. By analyzing the story and discourse levels of this narrative, we are going to discuss, first, the concepts of ‘reality’ and ‘individuality’ in Invitation to a Beheading as the pillars on which the author constructed the ultimate concept of freedom. After discussing the contribution of these two notions, in the last section of this article, dedicated to the questions of ideology and rhetoric, we place the ultimate concept of freedom in the period in which the novel was composed. We discuss how the final picture is in accordance with the peculiarities of the modern world that went through two World Wars and witnessed the outcome of totalitarian systems.


Keywords


Freedom, individual, reality, narrative, implied author, totalitarian, space, time

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.5n.7p.186

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