Commencement 2011

Mark Ostow

Mark Ostow

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Constantine Muravnik
Orange, Connecticut
PhD, Slavic languages and literatures

What is the subject of your dissertation?


What interests you about Nabokov?

It's a long story. I'd basically be telling you my dissertation.

Where is the dissertation?

I don't have to carry it with me. It's 500 pages. It's called "Nabokov's Philosophy of Art." It locates Nabokov with the idealist and post-idealist traditions of philosophy and, mostly, aesthetics. From Baumgarten, Kant, Schopenhauer, in addition to Heidegger... others.

When did you come to the U.S.?

In 1991. It was the time when it was easy to get out. A short time.

What surprised you about writing your thesis?

How much work it takes and how much lonely work it takes, all year round.

How did you get through that?

It was difficult, especially when you have a family and a child and you have to work full time. Organization of course was the most difficult. Writing and rewriting and then rewriting again and rewriting again. This was the difficult part.