Published two weeks after his seventieth birthday, Ada, or Ardor is one of Nabokov's greatest masterpieces, the glorious culmination of his career as a novelist. It tells a love story troubled by incest. But more: it is also at once a fairy tale, epic, philosophical treatise on the nature of time, parody of the history of the novel, and erotic catalogue. Ada, or Ardor is no less than the supreme work of an imagination at white heat.This is the first American edition to include the extensive and ingeniously sardonic appendix by the author, written under the anagrammatic pseudonym Vivian Darkbloom.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The annotated text of this modern classic. It assiduously illuminates the extravagant wordplay and the frequent literary allusions, parodies, and cross-references. Edited with a preface, introduction and notes by Alfred Appel, Jr.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The first novel Nabokov wrote while living in America and the most overtly political novel he ever wrote, Bend Sinister is a modern classic. While it is filled with veiled puns and characteristically delightful wordplay, it is, first and foremost, a haunting and compelling narrative about a civilized man caught in the tyranny of a police state. It is first and foremost a compelling narrative about a civilized man and his child caught up in the tyranny of a police state. Professor Adam Krug, the country's foremost philosopher, offers the only hope of resistance to Paduk, dictator and leader of the Party of the Average Man. In a folly of bureaucratic bungling and ineptitude, the government attempts to co-opt Krug's support in order to validate the new regime.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Tracing in detail two decades of close friendship between Vladimir Nabokov and Edmund Wilson, this collection has been expanded to include 59 letters discovered subsequent to the book's original publication in 1979.
Nabokov's third novel, "The Defense", is a chilling story of obsession and madness. As a young boy, Luzhin was unattractive, distracted, withdrawn, sullen -- an enigma to his parents and an object of ridicule to his classmates. He takes up chess as a refuge from the anxiety of his everyday life. His talent is prodigious and he rises to the rank of grandmaster -- but at a cost: in Luzhin's obsessive mind, the game of chess gradually supplants the world of reality. His own world falls apart during a crucial championship match, when the intricate defense he has devised withers under his opponent's unexpected and unpredictable lines of assault.
Extensively revised by Nabokov in 1965--thirty years after its original publication--Despair is the wickedly inventive and richly derisive story of Hermann, a man who undertakes the perfect crime--his own murder.From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Details of A Sunset" is a collection of 13 short stories written by Nabokov between 1924 and 1935. They vividly describe the life of a Russian emigre, which was the life that Nabokov himself was living at the time of writing these stories. The stories are: Details of a Sunset, A Bad Day, Orache, The Return of Chorb, The Passenger, A Letter that Never Reached Russia, A Guide to Berlin, The Doorbell, The Thunderstorm, The Reunion, A Slice of Life, Christmas, and A Busy Man.
The Enchanter is the Ur-Lolita, the precursor to Nabokov's classic novel. At once hilarious and chilling, it tells the story of an outwardly respectable man and his fatal obsession with certain pubescent girls, whose coltish grace and subconscious coquetry reveal, to his mind, a special bud on the verge of bloom.From the Trade Paperback edition.
This tells the story of an outwardly respectable man and his fatal obsession with certain pubescent girls, whose coltish grace and subconscious coquetry reveal, to his mind, a special bud on the verge of bloom. (This is a precursor to Nabokov's book Lolita.)
Nabokov's fourth novel, The Eye is as much a farcical detective story as it is a profoundly refractive tale about the vicissitudes of identities and appearances. Nabokov's protagonist, Smurov, is a lovelorn, excruciatingly self-conscious Russian émigré living in prewar Berlin, who commits suicide after being humiliated by a jealous husband, only to suffer even greater indignities in the afterlife.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Nabokov's fourth novel, "The Eye" is as much a farcical detective story as it is a profoundly refractive tale about the vicissitudes of identities and appearances. Nabokov's protagonist, Smurov, is a lovelorn, excruciatingly self-conscious Russian émigré living in prewar Berlin, who commits suicide after being humiliated by a jealous husband, only to suffer even greater indignities in the afterlife.
The Gift is the last of the novels Nabokov wrote in his native Russian and the crowning achievement of that period in his literary career. It is also his ode to Russian literature, evoking the works of Pushkin, Gogol, and others in the course of its narrative: the story of Fyodor Godunov-Cherdyntsev, an impoverished émigré poet living in Berlin, who dreams of the book he will someday write--a book very much like The Gift itself.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Gift is the last of the novels Nabokov wrote in his native Russian and is the crowning achievement of that period in his literary career.
Glory is the wryly ironic story of Martin Edelweiss, a twnety-two-year-old Russian émigré of no account, who is in love with a girl who refuses to marry him. Convinced that his life is about to be wasted and hoping to impress his love, he embarks on a "perilous, daredevil project"--an illegal attempt to re-enter the Soviet Union, from which he and his mother had fled in 1919. He succeeds--but at a terrible cost.From the Trade Paperback edition.
A brilliant new translation of a perennial favorite of Russian Literature The first major Russian novel, A Hero of Our Time was both lauded and reviled upon publication. Its dissipated hero, twenty-five-year-old Pechorin, is a beautiful and magnetic but nihilistic young army officer, bored by life and indifferent to his many sexual conquests. Chronicling his unforgettable adventures in the Caucasus involving brigands, smugglers, soldiers, rivals, and lovers, this classic tale of alienation influenced Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Chekhov in Lermontov's own century, and finds its modern-day counterparts in Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, the novels of Chuck Palahniuk, and the films and plays of Neil LaBute.
Like Kafka's The Castle, Invitation to a Beheading embodies a vision of a bizarre and irrational world. In an unnamed dream country, the young man Cincinnatus C. is condemned to death by beheading for "gnostical turpitude." an imaginary crime that defies definition. Cincinnatus spends his last days in an absurd jail, where he is visited by chimerical jailers. an executioner who masquerades as a fellow prisoner, and by his in-laws. who lug their furniture with them into his cell. When Cincinnatus is led out to be executed. he simply wills his executioners out of existence: they disappear, along with the whole world they inhabit.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The novel is the story of Dreyer, a wealthy and boisterous proprietor of a men's clothing emporium store. Ruddy, self-satisfied, and thoroughly masculine, he is perfectly repugnant to his exquisite but cold middle-class wife Martha. Attracted to his money but repelled by his oblivious passion, she longs for their nephew instead, the myopic Franz. Newly arrived in Berlin, Franz soon repays his uncle's condescension in his aunt's bed.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Albinus, a respectable, middle-aged man and aspiring filmmaker, abandons his wife for a lover half his age: Margot, who wants to become a movie star herself. When Albinus introduces her to Rex, an American movie producer, disaster ensues. What emerges is an elegantly sardonic and irresistibly ironic novel of desire, deceit, and deception, a curious romance set in the film world of Berlin in the 1930s.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The letters of the great writer to his wife--gathered here for the first time--chronicle a decades-long love story and document anew the creative energies of an artist who was always at work.No marriage of a major twentieth-century writer is quite as beguiling as that of Vladimir Nabokov's to Véra Slonim. She shared his delight in life's trifles and literature's treasures, and he rated her as having the best and quickest sense of humor of any woman he had met. From their first encounter in 1923, Vladimir's letters to Véra form a narrative arc that tells a half-century-long love story, one that is playful, romantic, pithy and memorable. At the same time, the letters tell us much about the man and the writer. We see the infectious fascination with which Vladimir observed everything--animals, people, speech, the landscapes and cityscapes he encountered--and learn of the poems, plays, stories, novels, memoirs, screenplays and translations on which he worked ceaselessly. This delicious volume contains twenty-one photographs, as well as facsimiles of the letters themselves and the puzzles and doodles Vladimir often sent to Véra. From the Hardcover edition.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed) When it was published in 1955, "Lolita" immediately became a cause celebre because of the freedom and sophistication with which it handled the unusual erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Vladimir Nabokov's wise, ironic, elegant masterpiece owes its stature as one of the twentieth century's novels of record not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story almost shocking in its beauty and tenderness. Awe and exhilaration-along with heartbreak and mordant wit-abound in this account of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America, but most of all, it is a meditation on love-love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation. With an Introduction by Martin Amis "From the Hardcover edition. "
The screenplay for Kubrik's 1962 film tells the story of an older man's obsession with a young girl.
A dying man cautiously unravels the mysteries of memory and creation. Vadim is a Russian emigre who, like Nabokov, is a novelist, poet and critic. There are threads linking the fictional hero with his creator as he reconstructs the images of his past from young love to his serious illness.
Nabokov's third novel, The Luzhin Defense, is a chilling story of obsession and madness. As a young boy, Luzhin was unattractive, distracted, withdrawn, sullen--an enigma to his parents and an object of ridicule to his classmates. He takes up chess as a refuge from the anxiety of his everyday life. His talent is prodigious and he rises to the rank of grandmaster--but at a cost: in Luzhin' s obsessive mind, the game of chess gradually supplants the world of reality. His own world falls apart during a crucial championship match, when the intricate defense he has devised withers under his opponent's unexpected and unpredictabke lines of assault.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Four plays and two essays on drama, written during Nabokov's émigré years before his writings in English earned him worldwide fame. Translated and with Introductions by Dmitri Nabokov.
Mary is a gripping tale of youth, first love, and nostalgia--Nabokov's first novel. In a Berlin rooming house filled with an assortment of seriocomic Russian émigrés, Lev Ganin, a vigorous young officer poised between his past and his future, relives his first love affair. His memories of Mary are suffused with the freshness of youth and the idyllic ambience of pre-revolutionary Russia. In stark contrast is the decidedly unappealing boarder living in the room next to Ganin's, who, he discovers, is Mary's husband, temporarily separated from her by the Revolution but expecting her imminent arrival from Russia.From the Trade Paperback edition.