Close read of p.206

The dichotomy between life and description of Russia and life as an émigré is a striking comparison that I feel has not been discussed yet in class. I move our attention to pages 104, 105 in chapter six: Nabokov writes about Luzhina parent’s apartment being a “daubed, artificial Russia” in attempt to replicating ” strict Russian style” (104) in contrast to their “quiet St. Petersburg house, where the furniture and other things had their own soul,”(105). This contrast is not only present here but earlier in the chapter where Luzhina’s winter holiday’s in Finland being ” something more Russia than Russia”(89). It is very interesting that even though Nabokov strives for us to tread his text not as a commentary on real life but as an artificial world ready for consumption, he still gives such pointed commentary of émigré life. It’s possible that such is a blatant show of nationalism and a jab at German poshlust’, or that he used Russia and authentic Russian-ness as a metafictional device, especially when most of the narrative and the conflict happening outside of Russia.

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