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

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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-fiction fantasy,


(1920) in theme and form. Inspired by events in the Soviet Union and the rise of fascism in Germany in the 1930s,…

1486 words

Citation: Wyllie, Barbara. "Priglashenie na kazn'". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 December 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2576, accessed 22 June 2024.]

2576 Priglashenie na kazn' 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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