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Abstract

The article portrays the motif of dream and its symbolic meanings in Vladimir Nabokov’s short story Terror, what has not been the subject of detailed research so far. It has been determined that the experience of dream in the analysed story denotes the protagonist’s attempt to escape from the surrounding world and a shift into the sphere of the unconscious (mysterious anaesthesia). Thus the topos of dream/dream fantasy in Terror implies the existence of a hero in a particular kind of chronotope, and is connected with the semantics of the passage – from demonic chaos and metaphysical terror to restoration of cosmic (microcosmic) order and to “becoming oneself” (Ricoeur). Moreover, dream in Nabokov’s text is intrinsically linked with the problem of compatibility/ incompatibility of the two worlds: the real and the oneiric one, existing in reality and reflected in a mirror, and also with the motif of a doppelganger which bears references to Dostoyevsky’s writings. Also, an oneiric image of a laughing woman is analysed in detail in the article. It has been proven that laugter (giggle) of the story’s heroine unveils ambivalent and demonic dimension of femininity and is a reference to Pushkin’s The Queen of Spades.
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Abstract

In this article, strategies and writing tricks (the trick of “defamiliarization”, imagery) which in Nabokov’s short story A Guide to Berlin serve to design the image of the city and simultaneously to explore the world of values (axiological map of Berlin/Eden) are being interpreted. The author of this article proves that the semantics of the title guide is connected with the strategy of transition from empirical observation and one “fragment of space” to expression of a situation in which the subject of speech has found himself. Moreover, it is shown that the subjectivity of the observer, his way of experiencing the world and his creative sensitivity seem crucial in the story, because he evaluates the surrounding reality and in the “act of individual creativity” builds upon it yet another space – an unusual, transformed one, close to the emigrant/the author of the guidebook. Attention is also paid to the differentiation of two ways of perceiving the world and two types of consciousness: the artist’s/narrator’s and his listener’s (“average consciousness”).
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