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The Word

Nepomnyashchy, Catharine S.

This presentation offers an overview of the problems of studying the Russian emigration with special attention to the question of which issues remain constant for all four waves of emigration and which are specific to one or more of the four waves. The organizing questions of the presentation will be: 1) why Russian émigré literature remains understudied and 2) how it might effectively be studied and integrated into academic curricula and faculty research agendas in the twenty-first century. In addressing these questions, particular attention will be devoted to the importance of émigré publishing outlets and audience, the career of the renowned author Vladimir Nabokov as a particularly rich case study, problems of source materials, the relationship between émigré and Soviet literature, and the possibility and/or desirability of deploying diaspora theory and comparison with exiled writers from other parts of the globe to illuminate the Russian émigré writer ’s situation in the United States. Particular attention will be paid to Nabokov ’s transnational significance as a source of inspiration for writers as diverse as Orhan Pamuk and Azar Nafisi.

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