Larisa Yu. Strelnikova

Candidate of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Department of Russian and Foreign Philology, Armavir Linguistic and Social Institute

Kirova St., 22-24, 352901 Armavir, Krasnodar Region, Russia

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Abstract. The article is aimed at revealing a proof on metalanguage being a special style of writing that Nabokov managed to endeavor, following the principles of nonclassical poetics of modernism and postmodernism. Nabokov created a new type of literary text that was not encumbered with traditions of the past literary epochs. It is stated that his metalanguage becomes a tool for engraving a play-on-word style of Nabokov's writing by participating in constructing metanarration and developing a unique way for expressing author's aesthetic position. In the epoch of modernism and postmodernism aesthetics of novel writing leans against disparity between the language (puns, allusions, allegories, and etc.) and consciousness (play on sense). It results in the artificial character of the text, shadowing linguistic clearness and introduction of irrational criteria for fiction apprehension. Metalanguage of Nabokov's fiction, which stands against logics of mimetism and aesthetics of the work content, is mirrored in the play-on-word writing model that is vital for the style effectiveness and novelty. The aesthetic game with its ramified labyrinth-like devices helps to deconstruct the text perception, which opens way for interpreting the literary work with various cultural codes while the reader constructs some new configuration of the fiction space. The author of the article comes to conclusion that the metalanguage turned destructive towards the classical fiction, thus adapting the novelty of writing style to the paradigm of dehumanized culture of modernism and postmodernism, targeted at breaking hedges between game and reality and foregrounding the priority of style and rhetoric effects.

Key words: modernism, postmodernism, metalanguage, Vladimir Nabokov, deconstruction, intertextuality, schizophrenic language.

Citation. Strelnikova L.Yu. Aesthetics of Word Play as Metalanguage of Nabokov's Fiction. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2, Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2017, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 222-231. (in Russian). DOI:

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AESTHETICS OF WORD PLAY AS METALANGUAGE OF NABOKOV’S FICTION by Strelnikova L.Yu. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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