2020 №16


УДК / UDK: 821.161.1
About the author:

Andrei Babikov, Senior Researcher, Alexander Solzhenitsyn House of Russian Abroad, Moscow, Russia.

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The material offered to the readers is a translation into Russian, with extensive notes, of an excerpt from the First Part of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle (1969). The published material consists of a translator’s Preface, five chapters from the novel, notes by V.V. Nabokov and the translator’s annotations. The Preface to the publication describes the creative and biographical circumstances of the creation of one of the most significant and controversial novels of the twentieth century, and indicates the sources of its conception, which goes back to the English short story of Nabokov Time and Ebb (1944), and considers its formal peculiarities. The Preface outlines the basic principles of Ada’s poetics, which distinguish it from the number of other works of the outstanding master and innovator of prose and affect it’s readers perception, such as: deliberate complexity of the narrative technique and an unprecedented variety of language tools used by Nabokov. The author of the Preface draws attention to the fact that the subtitle of the novel, indicating that it belongs to the genre of family chronicles, serves as one of the elements of Nabokov’s game poetics, since the classical tradition becomes the subject of parody in Ada. The novel is considered by the author of the Preface and translator of Ada as a grand compendium of European literature of Modern period, as an experiment in combining many varieties of the novel, from pastoral and Enlightenment utopian fiction of the 16– 17 centuries to the Nouveau roman of the 1950s and 1960s. The new Russian version of Nabokov’s most untranslatable novel took into account detailed annotations (in progress) by B. Boyd, works by A. Appel, Jr., and other researches, observations by one of the German translators of Ada, D. Zimmer, and the text of the French translation of the novel, which was prepared under Nabokov’s supervision. The Preface to the publication and the translator’s annotations involve archival material, in particular the draft of several chapters of the Russian translation of Ada, prepared by Véra Nabokov.

Keywords: Vladimir Nabokov, creative biography, Russian translation of English works by Nabokov, Ada’s conception, historical and literary commentary.
For citation:

Babikov Andrei. Ada’s Penmanship. To the publication of an excerpt from the Russian translation of Nabokov’s novel. Literaturnyi fakt, 2020, no. 2 (16), pp. 8–67.

DOI 10.22455/2541-8297-2020-16-8-67


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