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Delicate Markers

Subtexts in Vladimir Nabokov's "Invitation to a Beheading</I>


Gavriel Shapiro and Chair Hull Fund Committe

Delicate Markers is the first book-length study of Vladimir Nabokov's novel Invitation to a Beheading (1935-36), a masterpiece that has received a great deal of scholarly attention, second only to Lolita, among Nabokov's works. Contrary to the prevailing critical practice of interpreting the novel along specific lines, such as political or metaphysical, Shapiro considers its diverse subtexts, the implicit meanings, thereby achieving more complex and multifaceted perspectives. Even though centering on one work from Nabokov's Russian canon, Shapiro demonstrates the complexity of interartistic and cross-cultural ties in the writer's entire oeuvre, which became especially apparent in his «American years.»