THE WRITER’S INVENTION.
FAKE BIOGRAPHIES AND REALISTIC EFFECTS
The paper analyzes Vladimir Nabokov’s self-construction as an English prose writer in his novel The Real Life of Sebastian Knight (1941). Borrowing formal structures from other epic genres, Nabokov reflects upon the relationship between ‘the real’ and its fictional representation. The description of Sebastian Knight’s novels plays an important part in this complex literary game, especially when read against Nabokov’s autobiography and his later career. The main analytical concept is that of writerly posture, as theorized by J. Meizoz (2007). Indirectly represented through both the characters of Sebastian and V., his biographer (who becomes a writer himself), Nabokov’s posture as displayed in the novel is that of an innovative though still misinterpreted exile writer, who further explores and extends the aesthetic stakes of modernism.
Keywords: Vladimir Nabokov, posture, biography, fictionality, realism.