Theses Doctoral

Networks of Displacement Genealogy, Nationality, and Ambivalence in Works by Vladimir Nabokov and Gary Shteyngart

Darnell, Michael Richard

In this dissertation I examine Vladimir Nabokov’s and Gary Shteyngart’s use of family metaphors to manage intersecting Russian and American literary and cultural continuities. Both authors fashion their relationships to literary predecessors and common cultural narratives in terms of disrupted filial relationships, describing both an attachment to the conservative narratives of the nation and a desire to move beyond their rigid structure. I articulate this ambivalence as a productive state of transnational subjecthood that allows these authors to navigate apparently oppositional national identities. Central to this reorientation is a critique of the hierarchical schema of the national canon, which frames literary culture as a determinative series of authoritative relationships. By reimagining these relations as part of a branching network of co-constituting associations, we open the space for transnational subjects to move within and overlap these networks.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
English and Comparative Literature
Thesis Advisors
Hirsch, Marianne
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 17, 2016