Vladimir Nabokov: Pnin

(2162 words)
  • Duncan White (Oxford University)

Pnin (pronounced with an aspirated ‘P’) is considered the most accessible of the novels Vladimir Nabokov composed in English. First published in 1957, it is a campus novel that concerns the misadventures of Timofey Pavlovich Pnin, a Russian émigré whose struggles with America and its language make him a figure of fun at Waindell, the (fictitious) university were he teaches Russian. For all the light comedy on the surface, this is a deliberately problematic novel with a pathetic undercurrent that explicitly challenges its readers in its denouement. From its publication, though, critics have been divided on the stature of Pnin within Nabokov’s oeuvre, between those who grant it deceptive …

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Citation:
White, Duncan. "Pnin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 January 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2756, accessed 01 August 2014.]