Picture of author.

Brian Boyd (1) (1952–)

Teoksen Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years tekijä

Katso täsmennyssivulta muut tekijät, joiden nimi on Brian Boyd.

16+ teosta 1,342 jäsentä 12 arvostelua

Tietoja tekijästä

Brian Boyd is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of English at the University of Auckland, New Zealand


Tekijän teokset

Associated Works

Puhu, muisti (1947) — Johdanto, eräät painokset3,658 kappaletta, 44 arvostelua
Novels 1955-1962: Lolita / Pnin / Pale Fire (1996) — Toimittaja, eräät painokset527 kappaletta, 5 arvostelua
Novels and Memoirs 1941-1951 : The Real Life of Sebastian Knight / Bend Sinister / Speak, Memory (1996) — Toimittaja, eräät painokset349 kappaletta, 3 arvostelua
Novels 1969–1974: Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle / Transparent Things / Look at the Harlequins! (1996) — Toimittaja, eräät painokset303 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Knowing Animals (2007) — Avustaja — 12 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla




About halfway through, Boyd republishes an essay on Nabokov's art. This chapter should be required reading for any student who wants to understand the depth of VN's prose. Apparently, he puts it here so that the reader may keep these thoughts in mind as Boyd critiques his novels from this point on.

Boyd is not an objective observer. He unapologetically praises VN at every turn, so the reader should perhaps consult other sources for criticism.
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nog | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 9, 2023 |
this is not the one I was looking for. It was Ada, or Ardor, I was seeking. a dear text for a thousand reasons no one else could understand except one.
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AnnKlefstad | Feb 4, 2022 |
As the title suggests, this work focuses on what we can say about human nature from an evolutionary perspective and what that tells us about our impulses towards storytelling and our love of fiction. The main point is that humans have evolved as intelligent, highly social creatures with strong drives to be interested in the minds and actions of others, and that fiction in its various forms serves as a form of "cognitive play" that allows us to indulge and exercise those interests, practicing our social understanding and problem-solving abilities in much the same way that a cat plays by practicing its pouncing. Boyd maintains that understanding fiction in this way can lead us to take new perspectives on human storytelling, including making central the question of how authors work to capture their fellow humans' attention by sparking off those innate interests.

All of which sounds like extremely rich territory to explore, but I have to say that I didn't really find this nearly as fascinating or full of new insights as I'd expected. Which I think may be due in large part to not being the expected audience for this book, coming as I do from a science, rather than a litcrit background. Boyd's main theses sound very nearly self-evident to me, but he spends a lot of time defending them from expected (and, I'd guess, correctly expected) criticism and hostility from those invested in current notions of postmodernist literary "Theory." Really, much of what he has to say about the way in which such folks think about fiction is so ridiculous in my view that if I hadn't myself dipped a toe or two into the subject in the past, I'd assume he was just setting up straw men, but sadly I think I do know just enough about it to know that that's probably very much not the case.

Boyd also provides a couple of examples of what he thinks it looks like to view literary works through this kind of evolutionary perspective, using two familiar but almost amusingly different works of fiction: The Odyssey and Horton Hears a Who. To be honest, I found his discussion of The Odyssey rather tedious. He seems to be belaboring much the same points about it over and over, none of them very vividly or in a way that seems incredibly valuable, so I'm not sure it's doing any favors for his idea that this is a useful way to approach things here. The chapters on Horton Hears a Who, on the other hand, were surprisingly interesting, made some better points, and even taught me a few new things about Dr. Seuss.
… (lisätietoja)
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bragan | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 10, 2020 |
Boyd's thesis is a compelling one, even for a book that has attracted such diversity of opinion. In 1962, Pale Fire offered a challenging 'faberge egg' of a problem; a novel within a novel, several narrators, a depth of allusion and suggestion. In critical circles, some readers have leaned toward Shade, the book's 'poet', as the sole author of the text. Others have lent toward Kinbote, the text's editor. And sitting behind them of course, is Nabokov himself.

Boyd freely admits that he used to be of a Shadean position (Shade as sole author). In this book, eagerly anticipated, he revises his opinion. Not toward Kinbote, as such, but toward the powerful otherworld of the afterlife as a moving force within the text. Underlining Nabokov's chess-problem structuring of his novels (where problems are positional, and solutions can be come at through different 'spirals' of move and countermove), and drawing attention to the growing critical awareness of Nabokov not as a 'postmodern' author, interested in the fragmentation and aporia of meaning, but of an author searching for harmony and meaning.

Boyd's reading requires that we take a counterstep. His evidence is compelling and, I think, undeniable. In a sense he makes it so clear, that I feel a fool for not having given it a moment before. All readers are re-readers, says Nabokov.

I won't spoil Boyd's precise conclusion, because it's more satisfying to be taken through the 'spiral' of readings within his book.

There are problems with it, however. Boyd can be a little infuriating, repetitive, and oftentimes you can get simply lost in terms of finding where you are, or where you're supposed to be. The book could have been shorter, a bit neater and more apparent, but this didn't stop me from reading it. Boyd's job on Pale Fire is funnily Kinbotean in its own way (in its obsession, not its critical laxity).
… (lisätietoja)
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Merkitty asiattomaksi
DuneSherban | 1 muu arvostelu | Nov 15, 2012 |



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