Princeton University

what was Nabokov's notion of the absurd in the overcoat?

that everything was aburd, the way akaky's obsession ws well compasionate for his job, and the way he was treated by everyone in the office.

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Because a desperate plea for compassion characterizes the entirety of the story, The Overcoat does contain a profound account of "the absurd" that is so common to "existentialist" novels. The raw fact is--and it is raw--that people are looking for something that is just not there. This is what absurdity means in this story.