A Rhetoric of Absence. Japanese Motifs in V.V. Nabokov’s Last Novel

  • Irina Marchesini Alma Mater Studiorum - Università degli Studi di Bologna
Keywords: Asyndeton, Absence, Nabokov, Beardsley, Japanese Art, The Original of Laura


The concept of absence seems to be crucial in Vladimir Vladimirovič Nabokov’s poetics. Indeed, not only it is thematically present in his novels and poems, but in certain cases it performs a structural function. His last, unfinished work, The Original of Laura (Dying is fun) (2009), makes a perfect case. Reading this novel concentrating on the full-empty opposition interestingly reveals a typical nabokovian strategy, i.e. evoking the full through emptiness and segmentation. Drawing from these premises, this paper focuses on the representation of female body in The Original of Laura, investigating the productivity of rhetorical figures, with particular reference to asyndeton. In this reference frame the role of Japanese aesthetics is discussed.


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Author Biography

Irina Marchesini, Alma Mater Studiorum - Università degli Studi di Bologna

Assegnista di ricerca, letteratura e cultura russa contemporanea

Dipartimento di Lingue, Letterature e Culture Moderne

Università di Bologna


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How to Cite
Marchesini, I. (2014). A Rhetoric of Absence. Japanese Motifs in V.V. Nabokov’s Last Novel. Between, 4(7). https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/1151
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