Vladimir Nabokov: Sogliadatai [The Eye]

(1670 words)
  • Michael Rodgers (University of Strathclyde)

Composed in 1930 whilst Vladimir Nabokov resided in Berlin (where he lived for fifteen years after being in exile from Russia following the Bolshevik Revolution), The Eye [Sogliadatai], ostensibly a lengthy short-story, is instead Nabokov’s leanest novel. It follows the oscillating perspectives of Gospodin Smurov, a member of the Russian intelligentsia, in the period of 1924-25. The novel’s main focus, as its title hints to and as its readers are asked to piece together, is that of kaleidoscopic perspectives in a world where the demarcations between fantasy and “reality” (ensnared by Nabokov’s mandatory inverted commas) are conflated. Its articulation of existential problems through an …

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Rodgers, Michael. "Sogliadatai". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 September 2009
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1962, accessed 26 September 2016.]