a common reader

Nabokov, Novels and Memoirs 1941–1951

· 21 September 2014 |  by Janantoon
· Published in: Boeken Janantoon
· Tagged with: · · ·

Nabokov, Novels and Memoirs 1941--1951

  • The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
  • Bend Sinister
  • Speak, Memory

Vladimir Nabokov

fichebak

taal: Engels
gepubliceerd door: The Library of America
deze editie: 1996
bindwijze: gebonden
isbn: 9781883011185
pagina’s: 710

verworven via: Amazon

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, the first novel Nabokov wrote in English, published a year after he settled in the US, is a tantalizing literary mystery in which a writer’s half brother searches to unravel the enigma of the life of a famous author.

Bend Sinister (1947), Nabokov’s most explicitly political novel, is the haunting, dreamlike story of Adam Krug, a quiet philosophy professor caught up in the bureaucratic bungling of a totalitarian police state. “I am neither a didacticist nor an allegorizer,” Nabokov affirms in his introduction to the novel, but goes on to state: “There can be distinguished, no doubt, certain reflections in the glass caused by idiotic and despicable regimes that we all know and that have brushed against me in the course of my life: worlds of tyranny and torture, of Fascists and Bolshevists, of Philistine thinkers and jack-booted baboons.”

Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited (1951; revised 1966), Nabokov’s memoir of his childhood in imperial Russia and exile in Europe, is central to an understanding of his art. “I have to make a rapid inventory of the universe…I have to have all space and all time participate in my emotion, in my mortal love,” he writes toward the end of the book, “so that the edge of its mortality is taken off, thus helping me to fight the utter degradation, ridicule, and horror of having developed an infinity of sensation and thought within a finite existence.”

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