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“Good Readers and Good Writers” by Vladimir Nabokov Essay


Vladimir Nabokov’s article, Good Readers and Good Writers, intellectually informs scholars on how to assess or compose a pleasant paper, book, or novel. Thus, he attempts to draw a line between good readers/writers through evaluating different write-ups and books. The following discourse effectively analyses Nabokov’s article in three phases namely; the purpose of his work, the audience, and the rhetorical strategies.

The main purpose of Nabokov’s piece of work is to teach both writers/authors and readers/students on how to acquire skills on creative authorship. Additionally, he instructs scholars /readers on the best way to study a piece of literary work. In his article, he describes a genuine or perfect writer as an artistic, creative, innovative, and skillful person who sees beyond what lies before his eyes.

According to Nabokov, a creative writer is “the fellow who sends planets spinning and models a man asleep” (par.4) while “the good reader is one who has imagination, memory, a dictionary, and some artistic sense” (para.6). Therefore, Nabokov’s article is to impart good writing and reading skills to learners and authors.

To achieve his purpose, Nabokov’s directs his article to students or learners and authors of different books. He also gives free lessons to people or scholars who are aspiring to become authors or writers in future. For instance, while describing reading skills he says, “Students lean heavily” (para.6), which proves that he directs his piece of writing to the student fraternity.

On the other hand, he intelligently draws the line between creative writers and non-creative ones. For instance, in the first paragraph, Nabokov’s asserts that his piece of writing will discuss “various authors”, which means he is analyzing different literary works in Europe. In the same way, the article will end up in the hands of different authors, which may turn out to be beneficial to their career.

As away of addressing learners and writers, Nabokov’s tonal variation and attitude towards the subject matter or audience is enlightening, informative, and instructive. For example, he instructs his audience when he says, “A good reader, a major reader, an active and creative reader is a rereader” (Nabokov, para.6).

Nabokov’s choice of words proves his tonal voice as serious. He uses short sentences or phrases like “Literature is invention; Fiction is fiction” (para.14). Thusly, Nabokov uses both instructive attitude and serious tone to put across his message.

Furthermore, as an international fiction writer, Nabokov uses rhetorical strategies like narration, figurative language, exemplification, and comparison among others to write his paper. As an expert in the writing field, Nabokov uses literary expressions to compile his article. He uses metaphors while writing his paper like “literature was born” therefore, humanizing or giving life to his subject matter.

Moreover, he uses examples from other authors like Madame Bovary to ascertain his purpose. He compares books from different authors to describe a minor reader/writer and a poor or inadequate writer/reader. Logically, he draws the quality of a good reader/writer as creative while a minor reader (poor) lacks that basic quality. Emotionally, Nabokov draws out hopeful feelings to his audience strengthening their writing/reading.

In conclusion, by using a unique writing style and application of the rhetoric strategy, Nabokov motivates his audience to be creative, which was the main aim of his article. He uses a serious tone and applies an instructor’s attitude to achieve his purpose.

Works cited

Nabokov, Vladimir. Good Readers and Good Writer, 1948. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020, April 25). “Good Readers and Good Writers” by Vladimir Nabokov. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/good-readers-and-good-writers-by-vladimir-nabokov/

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"“Good Readers and Good Writers” by Vladimir Nabokov." IvyPanda, 25 Apr. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/good-readers-and-good-writers-by-vladimir-nabokov/.

1. IvyPanda. "“Good Readers and Good Writers” by Vladimir Nabokov." April 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/good-readers-and-good-writers-by-vladimir-nabokov/.


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IvyPanda. "“Good Readers and Good Writers” by Vladimir Nabokov." April 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/good-readers-and-good-writers-by-vladimir-nabokov/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "“Good Readers and Good Writers” by Vladimir Nabokov." April 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/good-readers-and-good-writers-by-vladimir-nabokov/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) '“Good Readers and Good Writers” by Vladimir Nabokov'. 25 April.

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