Lectures on Literature
This is an invaluable book of criticism from Nabokov's teaching days at Wellesley and Cornell. There are only seven masterpieces covered: Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, Charles Dicken's Bleak House, Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Marcel Proust's first volume of In Search of Lost Time, Swann's Way, Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, and James Joyce's Ulysses. And one other surprise.
When he was hired, one condition was that Nabokov was never allowed to teach on American novels, although he was certainly well qualified––that was already covered ground by jealous colleagues––but European and Russian Literature were wide open. Given that he had just migrated from there, it was an easy teaching post to accept.