On Wednesdays We Wonder is Back with a Talk on Literature

Author: İpek (Grade 10)

Editor: Buse (Grade 11)

On Wednesdays We Wonder: Being a Nabokov Fan

RC Social Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Creativity Office organized this year’s very first face-to-face On Wednesdays We Wonder (OWWW) event with Ecesu (Grade 12) talking about how she became a Nabokov fan.

Who is Vladimir Nabokov?

Vladimir Nabokov is a Russian-American novelist who was born to an educated and noble family. His father was a political man, so during the Russian Revolution, he and his family fled away from Russia. After flying around Europe, Nabokov ended up in the USA.

The Famous and Notorious Novel: “Lolita”

Talking about Nabokov’s novels, Ecesu admits that she doesn’t like reading a fiction book just with the aim of learning something or finding a central theme as typically done. Talking specifically on “Lolita,” a famous novel by Nabokov, she says that looking for a message while reading it is quite disturbing. By just looking at the blurb of the novel, it seems like there is a moral dilemma but Ecesu says that while reading it, the hidden details that are conveyed by the beautiful language engage the reader. At some point, the readers are expected to argue with the book as well, which Ecesu enjoys a lot.

In “Lolita,” some references are made to Western authors like Dante along with the biblical allusions, especially from Genesis. This literary consciousness makes the narrator communicate with the reader easier. It also opens room for looking at this work from different perspectives like feminism and politics.

In the end, Ecesu highlights that it is possible to read a book through different lenses just by enjoying the language without worrying about the message.

Have you ever read a book solely to appreciate the author’s craft? What insights have you gained into literature as a result of this experience?

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Robert College Social Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Creativity Office