Nabokov and the Question of Morality

Aesthetics, Metaphysics, and the Ethics of Fiction

  • Michael Rodgers
  • Susan Elizabeth Sweeney

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Michael Rodgers, Susan Elizabeth Sweeney
    Pages 1-18
  3. Responsible Reading

  4. Good and Evil

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 71-71
    2. Samuel Schuman
      Pages 73-86
    3. Gennady Barabtarlo
      Pages 87-108
  5. Agency and Altruism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 127-127
    2. Jacqueline Hamrit
      Pages 129-142
    3. Laurence Piercy
      Pages 143-158
  6. The Ethics of Representation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 159-159
    2. Leland de la Durantaye
      Pages 183-196
    3. Michael Wood
      Pages 213-224
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 225-241

About this book


The first collection to address the vexing issue of Nabokov’s moral stances, this book argues that he designed his novels and stories as open-ended ethical problems for readers to confront. In a dozen new essays, international Nabokov scholars tackle those problems directly while addressing such questions as whether Nabokov was a bad reader, how he defined evil, if he believed in God, and how he constructed fictional works that led readers to become aware of their own moral positions. In order to elucidate his engagement with aesthetics, metaphysics, and ethics, Nabokov and the Question of Morality explores specific concepts in the volume’s four sections: “Responsible Reading,” “Good and Evil,” “Agency and Altruism,” and “The Ethics of Representation.” By bringing together fresh insights from leading Nabokovians and emerging scholars, this book establishes new interdisciplinary contexts for Nabokov studies and generates lively readings of works from his entire career.


Nabokov Morality Lolita Metaphysics Aesthetics

Editors and affiliations

  • Michael Rodgers
    • 1
  • Susan Elizabeth Sweeney
    • 2
  1. 1.English StudiesUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.English DepartmentCollege of the Holy CrossWorcesterUSA

Bibliographic information