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The "Olgalized" Otherworld in Bend Sinister

Author: ZhangChen
Tutor: ZhuWeiHong
School: Central China Normal University
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: VladimirNabokov Bend Sinister Otherworld Olgalized
CLC: I712.074
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2014
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Abstract


Vladimir Nabokov is one of the most famous writers after World War Ⅱ. He has a very important position in the history of American literature and world literature. As a prolific writer, his creative life lasted as long as60years. He created17novels,60short stories (including50in Russian and10in English). As a Russian-born American writer who has spent more than twenty years in Russia, Nabokov was inevitably influenced by traditional Russian culture, especially the impact of the Silver Age culture and traditional aesthetics. The Otherworld philosophy is the core thought of Russian symbolism and this thought permeates all his major works. Bend Sinister was the first novel published after Nabokov moved to the United States. The novel was once considered to be a distinct political novel, and as such, have attracted a lot of critical attention. The author of this paper, however, is to study it from another perspective, the perspective of the Otherworld. The present author asserts that the heroine Olga of this novel has an important role, and to a large extent, the Otherworld in this novel is an "Olgalized" one.This thesis consists of five chapters.Chapter One gives an introduction to Nabokov’s eventful life and his literary creation, makes a general survey of Nabokov studies both at home and abroad, and provides an explanation of the main contents of this thesis.Chapter Two delineates the characteristics of the "Olgalized" Otherworld in the novel. The "Olgalized" Otherworld is always related to femininity and brightness.Chapter Three analyzes the role of Olga as the connector between This World and the Otherworld in the novel. She manifests herself in various ways to her husband and son, trying to provide them with comfort or to give them warnings.Chapter Four renders an explication of the ending of the novel. It holds that Olga’s husband and son get united with her in the Otherworld at the end of the novel, and that such ending reflects Nabokov’s wish to return to the embrace of his motherland, a wish that can hardly been satisfied in reality.Chapter Five is the conclusion, which summarizes the previous discussion and restates the viewpoint of the thesis that the "Olgalized" Otherworld in Bend Sinister carries Nabokov, an exile writer’s longing to return to his motherland.

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