Claudia's Reviews > The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov

The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov by Vladimir Nabokov
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Mar 24, 12

Read from March 24 to May 21, 2012

Disappointing, overall. Which was a surprise, given how much I love Pale Fire.

I think maybe the short form wasn't quite right for him; something just seems to be missing. Most of the stories are about exile life, and though I've long felt terribly sorry for Nabokov's amazingly bad luck (exiled twice?!, not to mention his father's assassination), I felt less so reading these. Indeed, I felt weirdly cold and unsympathetic; the first couple of pieces were very compelling, but they just became less and less so, and I felt guiltier and guiltier.

Perhaps this effect wouldn't be so bad if the stories were read as they were published, broken up by time, as it were. They're technically accomplished, and his prose is always memorable. Reading them all in one big lump just became rather numbing.
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