This course is discontinued

LIT4358 – 'Eye' and 'I': The fictional construction of subjectivity in Nabokov's novels

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Nabokov is famous for his complex novels with unreliable narrators, different levels of meaning and complex metaphysics, including far reaching comparisons between the author and God. In this course we will analyse Nabokov's transformation of his own subjectivity into fictional constructions. He projects his biographical "I" onto various protagonists who live through dramatized plots. Nabokov worked carefully on the design of his biography and even tried to influence literary criticism about himself and his novels.

The syllabus consists of three literary works and 300-400 pages of theory.

Learning outcome

The students will enhance their knowledge about a specific literary topic. The focus is on understanding the specific attributes of literature as well as the principles in analysing texts.

The participants will gain an understanding of some fundamental features regarding Nabokov's literary work and learn to identify and interpret the fictional construction of subjectivity in Nabokov's novels.


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If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Admission to the master program in literature or other relevant master programs.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Admission to the master program in literature or other relevant master programs.

Overlapping courses

10 credits against LIT4378


The course will be taught throughout the semester with a two-hour seminar for ten weeks. The students are expected to contribute during the seminars and must, in agreement with the tutor, give an oral presentation of the draft that is going to be the final assignment. The tutor will comment on the draft after the oral presentation.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


An oral presentation of the first version of the assignment must be approved by the tutor before the student may sit for the exam. The essay must be of approximately nine pages (2300 signs, totally approximately 20.000 signs). The student may choose the topic for the assignment in agreement with the tutor. The date for handing in the exam (the final version of the assignment) will be given at a late stage during the springterm. The exam will be assesed by the tutor.

All written papers must be accompanied by a declaration concerning cheating Obligatorisk erklæring vedr. fusk

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination


Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Spring 2010


Spring 2010

Teaching language