Exile is the state of one who lives away from his native land, either voluntarily or unwillingly. However unlike most exiles, refined Nabokov is met with less cultural or linguistic clashes when being in deterritorialization. He physically deterritorializes, in various spaces and times, moving from Russia to England, then from Germany to France. He describes his household as “the kind of Russian family to which I belonged—a kind now extinct, had, among other virtues, a traditional leaning toward the comfortable products of Anglo-Saxon civilization. Pear’s Soap, tar-balk when dry, topaz-like when held to the light between wet fingers, took care of one’s morning bath…At breakfast, Golden Syrup imported from London would entwist with its glowing coils the revolving spoon from which enough of it had slithered onto a piece of Rus...
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... as a Russian intellectual in mishaps and finally recognizes himself as an exile, he seems to suspend his deterritorialization, both physically and spiritually. He recounts, “as I look back at those years of exile, I see myself, and thousands of other Russians, leading an odd but by no means unpleasant existence, in material indigence and intellectual luxury, among perfectly unimportant strangers, spectral Germans and Frenchman in whose more or less illusory cities, we émigrés, happened to dwell” (276). Upon arriving in America, his physical deterritorialization is halted, while his spiritual deterritorialization is reawaked as he adopts the country as his new home, describing America as “a new and beloved world, where I have learned to feel at home” (277), where he will push his deterritorialization further and further to his literary imagination in his new world.
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