Vladimir Nabokov: Pnin

(2155 words)
  • Duncan White

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 depth and the status of a …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

White, Duncan. "Pnin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 January 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2756, accessed 25 September 2016.]