Author(s): Faruk KALAY

Vladimir Nabokov is one of the most prominent writers in both Russian and American Literature. Influencing a great number of authors, Nabokov pens many a novel dealing with obsessed characters, some of whom regard the death as a final solution. Luzhin Defense can be considered in one of these kinds of novels mentioned above. The novel also possesses autobiographical and psychoanalytic characteristics, which attracts the readers' attention. Alexandr Ivanovich Luzhin, the protagonist of the novel, spends all his whole life to chess and chess problems; besides, he has an introvert personality, which makes him snarl in communication with family, friends and even his wife. The critic depicts the protagonist as "a chess prodigy who can barely navigate his way through the daily physical world, much less cope with the people who live in it" (Ras, 2012). On the day her wife gives a party for the honorary of him, he suicides. Nabokov ends the novel with these sentences. "Aleksandr Ivanovich, Aleksandr Ivanovich,' roared several voices. But there was no Aleksandr Ivanovich" (Nabokov, 1990: 228). The complicated personality leads the protagonist see the complex problems in chess are much easier than daily life. As Khodasevich purports "For Luzhin, the complex problems of his abstract art are infinitely easier that the simple problems of life" (1930: 1). In addition to this, the lack of communication is another factor for his psychological breakdown. Her wife's endeavors to enter his world fail and Luzhin suicides. In this context, the novel teems with obsessive attitudes and incidences. To sum up, Nabokov well recounts the individual's inner world and his/her contradictions. Luzhin who cannot confront with the physical world prefers death to life. In this study, the protagonist's complex personality and his life resulted with death will be argued.


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