Absent yet Present: On the Paradoxical Nature of Characters in Nabokov’s The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
The present research is focused on the theme of absence, an area of inquiry that might seem dominant in the field of Nabokov Studies. The analysis, which concentrates in particular on the key figures of the novel The Real Life of Sebastian Knight (1941), notably the narrator V. and the poet Sebastian Knight, interprets the characters’ construction through the paradigm of absence. Arguably, the construction of characters in The Real Life of Sebastian Knight is paradoxical: absence constitutes their essence at a core level, as it often happens in the context of the self-conscious genre. Moreover, absence plays a key role in characters’ design, linking them to all Nabokovian novels. However, despite their innermost ‘flatness’, to use Edward M. Forster’s terminology, they still appear to be ‘round’, i.e. plausible, mimetic figures.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . This means, among other things, that anyone is free to copy and distribute the content, as long as they give proper credit to the author(s) and the journal. The CC-BY license does not apply to (partial) content where a third party holds the copyright.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.