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Robert Alter on Nabokov

Robert Alter

14/06/2021 7:00 pm
on zoom, virtual event

One of the world’s leading literary and biblical scholars turns his attention to one of the most polarising novelists of all time in this unmissable online event. Live from the US, Robert Alter, professor of Hebrew and comparative literature at Berkeley since 1967, joins literary critic David Herman, to discuss his exploration of Lolita author Vladimir Nabokov. In Nabokov and the Real World: Between Appreciation and Defense, Alter – whose previous works include his translation of the Hebrew Bible and books on Kafka, Scholem and Stendhal – offers insights into literature’s most fabulous artificer, offering an elegant and compelling case for Nabokov’s relevance today.

This essay collection assesses the stakes and real-world relevance of Nabokov’s writing, from his lectures and short stories to his major novels. It’s a great read if you’re a Nabokov fan, or if you’ve ever wondered, ‘Why did this guy write Lolita?‘” Literary Hub

Click here to buy a copy of Nabokov and the Real World by Robert Alter

Robert Alter


Robert Alter is professor of the Graduate School and emeritus professor of Hebrew and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley. His many books include The Pleasures of Reading in an Ideological Age, Imagined Cities: Urban Experience and The Language of the Novel, and Pen of Iron: American Prose and the King James Bible (Princeton). He lives in Berkeley, California.

David Herman


David Herman was a TV producer for twenty years, working with Jeremy Isaacs and Melvyn Bragg among others, and has been a freelance writer for the past fifteen years writing 700 articles for a number of leading magazines and newspapers including The New Statesman, Prospect, The Guardian and The Independent. He is chief fiction reviewer of The Jewish Chronicle.