Vintage Nabokov (Paperback)

By Vladimir Nabokov

Vintage, 9781400034017, 208pp.

Publication Date: January 6, 2004

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Description

Vintage Readers are a perfect introduction to some of the greatest modern writers presented in attractive, accessible paperback editions.

"It was Nabokov's gift to bring paradise wherever he alighted." --John Updike, The New York Review of Books

Novelist, poet, critic, translator, and, above all, a peerless imaginer, Vladimir Nabokov was arguably the most dazzling prose stylist of the twentieth century. In novels like Lolita, Pale Fire, and Ada, or Ardor, he turned language into an instrument of ecstasy.

Vintage Nabokov includes sections 1-10 of his most famous and controversial novel, Lolita; the stories "The Return of Chorb," "The Aurelian," "A Forgotten Poet," "Time and Ebb," "Signs and Symbols," "The Vane Sisters," and "Lance"; and chapter 12 from his memoir Speak, Memory.


About the Author

Vladimir Nabokov was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Nabokovs were known for their high culture and commitment to public service, and the elder Nabokov was an outspoken opponent of anti-Semitism and one of the leaders of the opposition party, the Kadets. In 1919, following the Bolshevik Revolution, he took his family into exile. Four years later he was shot and killed at a political rally in Berlin while trying to shield the speaker from right-wing assassins. The Nabokov household was trilingual, and as a child Nabokov was already reading Wells, Poe, Browning, Keats, Flaubert, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Tolstoy, and Chekhov alongside the popular entertainments of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne. As a young man, he studied Slavic and romance languages at Trinity College, Cambridge, taking his honors degree in 1922. For the next 18 years he lived in Berlin and Paris, writing prolifically in Russian under the pseudonym "Sirin" and supporting himself through translations, lessons in English and tennis, and by composing the first crossword puzzles in Russian. In 1925, he married Vera Slonim, with whom he had one child, a son, Dmitri. Having already fled Russia and Germany, Nabokov became a refugee once more in 1940, when he was forced to leave France for the United States. There he taught at Wellesley, Harvard, and Cornell. He also gave up writing in Russian and began composing fiction in English. His most notable works include Bend Sinister (1947), Lolita (1955), Pnin (1957), and Pale Fire (1962), as well as the translation of his earlier Russian novels into English. He also undertook English translations of works by Lermontov and Pushkin and wrote several books of criticism. Vladimir Nabokov died in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977.
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