Nabokov’s Freedom: An Uneven Battle against the Sinister Narrator

Fazel Asadi Amjad, Bahare Jalali Farahani, Javad Momeni

Abstract


With the recent inclination toward reading for ideological aspects of his works, Nabokov, who had been pervasively regarded as a mere ingenious aesthete, both during his life and for a long time after his death, has proved more puzzling in interpretation than what scholars believed. In this research, in order to understand what concept of freedom Nabokov has developed in his Bend Sinister, we focus on the two of his salient concerns: reality and individuality. Consequently, our narratological reading of Bend Sinister is concentrated first on the interpretation of the whatness of reality and its contribution to realize freedom, and second on analyzing the significance of retaining individuality to procure freedom; ultimately, out of delving into these two issues, the concept of freedom that the narrative techniques of the novel render, in correspondence to the peculiarities of the mid-twentieth century, is found out. Regarding the notion of the reality, in this novel, the unremitting propaganda of the totalitarian system presented the materialistic world as the ultimate truth, confining citizens in the prison of a fake world and not permitting them to gain the slightest awareness of the endless freedom possible in eternity. As to the individuality, Krug’s attempts not to succumb to the desired system of padograph lead him to maintain his individuality and partly realize his freedom of mind. And finally, it is shown how totalitarianism has reached such absolute power that no thorough freedom of mind is now conceivable for humanity.


Keywords


freedom of mind, totalitarianism, reality, individuality, intrusive author-narrator

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.6n.7p.88

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