Fixing the borderline : beauty in Pale Fire and Lolita.
Lim, Deborah Ying Shan.
Date of Issue2013
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Vladimir Nabokov’s novels seem to hold, for many, a strange fascination. This essay began as an inquiry into the inexplicable enchantment of Nabokov’s language. I had the idea of studying the elements of prose style, in order to ascertain what it is that draws so many readers, for instance, to the strange beauty of Lolita, or to the depthless worlds of Pale Fire. I wanted to ask: What makes a work of fiction beautiful? And how is this beauty to be demonstrated? The direction of my research in art philosophy, however, led to the discovery that the beauty of the Nabokovian novel is revealed not only in its lyrical prose, but also in its formal richness. Still motivated by these initial inquiries, this essay is a study of beauty in both the form and language of Nabokov’s Pale Fire and Lolita.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University