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Insomniac Dreams: Experiments with Time by Vladimir Nabokov (Hardback)
  • Insomniac Dreams: Experiments with Time by Vladimir Nabokov (Hardback)
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Insomniac Dreams: Experiments with Time by Vladimir Nabokov (Hardback)

(author), (commentaries,editor)
£20.00
Hardback 224 Pages / Published: 10/11/2017
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Nabokov's dream diary, published for the first time--and placed in biographical and literary context On October 14th, 1964, Vladimir Nabokov, a lifelong insomniac, began a curious experiment. Over the next eighty days, immediately upon waking, he wrote down his dreams, following the instructions he found in An Experiment with Time by the British philosopher John Dunne. The purpose was to test the theory that time may go in reverse, so that, paradoxically, a later event may generate an earlier dream. The result--published here for the first time--is a fascinating diary in which Nabokov recorded sixty-four dreams (and subsequent daytime episodes) on 118 index cards, which afford a rare glimpse of the artist at his most private. More than an odd biographical footnote, the experiment grew out of Nabokov's passionate interest in the mystery of time, which influenced many of his novels, including the late masterpiece Ada. Insomniac Dreams, edited by leading Nabokov authority Gennady Barabtarlo, presents the text of Nabokov's dream experiment, illustrated with a selection of his original index cards, and provides rich annotations and analysis that put them in the context of his life and writings. The book also includes previously unpublished records of Nabokov's dreams from his letters and notebooks and shows important connections between his fiction and private writings on dreams and time.

Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691167947
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
One of The Guardian's Best Books of 2017
[A] meditation on the ways our dreams unmoor us--from ourselves, from one another, from the most basic sense of duration.---Dan Piepenbring, New Yorker
This is a celebratory enterprise, an ideal present for readers who are already fans. . . . Barabtarlo has a masterly command of Nabokov's life and work.---Eric Naiman, Times Literary Supplement
Utterly fascinating.---William Boyd, The Guardian
Handsomely designed . . . [t]his is a looping, chronologically complicated book full of the kind of sleep-deprived, iridescently edged complexity that likes to gather around Vladimir Nabokov's work.---Nicholson Baker, New Republic
[D]ream notes are at the heart of Insomniac Dreams, and are surrounded by helpful and intriguing background material.---Michael Wood, New York Review of Books
"Who needs fantasy fiction when you can plunge through the trapdoor in Nabokov's pillow into his lucid dreamworlds, with Gennady Barabtarlo as sage companion and guide?"--Brian Boyd, author of Vladimir Nabokov: The Russian Years and Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years
"Nabokov's amazing records of his dreams are priceless, and their publication will create a much-deserved critical buzz. They show Nabokov at his most vulnerable, raw, and genuine, giving us rare glimpses into his past, his feelings about his parents, his relationship with his wife and son, and his anxieties and hopes. This is a very important book."--Galya Diment, University of Washington
"Nabokov's notes about his dream experiment offer a private, unguarded view into his inner life during the rich autumn of his genius. By revealing a new facet of Nabokov's fascination with the nature of time and the otherworld, they show his remarkable openness to radical ways of thinking. Gennady Barabtarlo's masterful analysis of Nabokov's notes does full justice to this important contribution to the study of one of the twentieth century's most important writers."--Dana Dragunoiu, Carleton University

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