Vladimir Nabokov: Volshebnik [The Enchanter]

(1046 words)

The Enchanter was written in Russian in Paris in the autumn of 1939, under the title “Volshebnik”. After Nabokov's arrival in America, the text was thought to have been lost, or indeed destroyed. A few years later the basic idea of the novella was to be transposed to an American setting and it grew “in secret the claws and wings of a novel” (13), to become the much longer and far richer Lolita. However, in 1959 a typescript of the work turned up and Nabokov reread it “with considerably more pleasure than I experienced when recalling it as a dead scrap during my work on Lolita”, suggesting to his publisher that, as “a beautiful piece of Russian prose”, it “could be done into English by the Nabokovs�…

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Cornwell, Neil. "Volshebnik". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=963, accessed 25 November 2015.]