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    This dissertation is an attempt to find a single framework for understanding two seemingly conflicting aspects of Nabokov's Russian novels---the metaphysical and the existential. The metaphysical aspect is analyzed according to Leibniz's "Monadology," with its key concepts of the monad, pre-established harmony, the optimization of the universe, and sufficient reason. The existential aspect is examined according to Sartre's theory of the gaze from "Being and Nothingness"; its main notions are bei…Read more