Developing Transnational Style: Particularities of Nabokov’s Lexicon and Cognitive Frames in The Gift in Relation to the Five Senses

  • Lyudmila Razumova


Creative Writing in L2 is presumed to be marked by interference and an increased awareness of the interplay between sense and sound. However, in Nabokov’s case, there are multiple deviations from the standard usage even in his first literary language, Russian. This chapter examines the development of Nabokov’s translingual idiolect in his novel Dar (The Gift). It focuses on the use of sensory terms as well as other peculiarities of Nabokov’s lexicon and cognitive frames and discusses their effect on reception of his prose. Using a combination of linguo-cognitive (Karaulov’s concept of linguistic personality) and literary approaches, the paper demonstrates why, despite the novel’s profound engagement with Russian literature, Dar’s compositional and linguistic techniques were perceived as “foreign” by Russian readers and critics.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lyudmila Razumova
    • 1
  1. 1.King’s College LondonLondonUK

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