Eric's Reviews > The Gift

The Gift by Vladimir Nabokov
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's review
Aug 31, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: nabokov, etudes-slaves, personal-bibles, ficciones, russian-childhoods, favorites

The last, longest, and greatest of Nabokov's Russian novels, a project that in some form occupied him for much of the 1930s, is frequently compared to Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man but I think it's better, and more ambitious (a rival for Ulysses actually). Nabokov focuses not so much on Fyodor's childhood and youth (although they are powerfully present in the first chapter) as much as on his growth and expansion as a quickly maturing writer, and on his impassioned relation to Russian literary tradition--more interesting processes, and much harder to render dramatically. This novel's ingenuity is unbounded. It communicates the essence of Nabokov's art, and displays his total mastery.
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