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Contesting the Unconscious: Frederic W. Myers and Vladimir Nabokov's Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited

Cooper, S. L. (2016) Contesting the Unconscious: Frederic W. Myers and Vladimir Nabokov's Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited. Journal of Modern Literature, 39 (4). pp. 19-32. ISSN 0022-281X. (doi:10.2979/jmodelite.39.4.03)

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Abstract

As he prepared to write his autobiography, Vladimir Nabokov turned to the work of Victorian investigator of the paranormal, Frederic W. Myers. Myers’s concept of layered selfhood illuminates otherwise obscure connections between Nabokov’s treatment of immortality, family relationships, human evolution and sensory perception. Reading Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited in dialogue with Myers’s ideas points to a close engagement by Nabokov with the debates on the self in time that occurred on the cusp of the twentieth century. It brings to light the subtleties of the autobiography’s critique of Freud and nuances views of the text’s temporal structures as Bergsonian. The new view of Nabokov and Myers that emerges from reading the Nabokov archive suggests the possibility of fruitful interactions between genetic criticism and the history of ideas

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.2979/jmodelite.39.4.03
Uncontrolled keywords: Vladimir Nabokov, Frederic W. Myers, Sigmund Freud, genetic criticism
Subjects: P Language and Literature
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > French
Depositing User: Sara-Louise Cooper
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2017 12:31 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 19:32 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/63428 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Cooper, S. L.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4293-6048
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