Vladimir Nabokov: Priglashenie na kazn' [Invitation to a Beheading]

(1487 words)

The first draft of Priglashenie na kazn´ [Invitation to a Beheading] was completed (by Nabokov, writing under the name of “V. Sirin”) in June 1934, in what its author described as a “fortnight of wonderful excitement and sustained inspiration”. The novel was a considerable departure for Nabokov, both in content and in style. Its political focus prefigured the English novel Bend Sinister (1947), and Russian stories such as Oblako, ozero, bashnia [Cloud, Castle, Lake, 1937] and Istreblenie tiranov [Tyrants Destroyed, 1938]. Critics have commented on its similarity to Kafka’s The Trial (1925), but it is also reminiscent of Zamiatin’s grim science-f…

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Wyllie, Barbara. "Priglashenie na kazn'". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 December 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2576, accessed 09 October 2015.]