Roozbeh Estifaee's Reviews > Vintage Nabokov

Vintage Nabokov by Vladimir Nabokov
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Apr 12, 10

Read in February, 2010

I am a Nabokov admirer, so my rating of anything about him probably is not very sincere and cannot be confidently trusted. This statement is "double-true" whenever it's about a text of any kind, by him, read by me in English. This book is no exception.
Vintage Nabokov is a book published by Vintage Books, in a big series of numerous books which are aimed to inroduce contemporary writers, mostly alive and mainly writing in English. The book is composed of some of Nabokov's short stories, both those written in Russian and translated by himself and his son, and those written originally in English. It also includes the first 10 chapters of his well-known Lolita, and a very small part of his autobiography, Speak, Memory.
To speak about Nabokov and his style, you should always repeat the most-repeated: that he is a prose stylist, that he has the widest range of active words among English writers along with James Joyce and Shakespeare, and that he is a wide imaginer and a poet of words. These are all correct and well reclected in this book. But in addition to these facts, I praise Nabokov as a great novelist. He can form great sketches for his stories, and he writes them the best way they can be written. His characters, in the extreme situations they face in his works, reveal their true personalities and go through an inside journey. They are explored and played with by the author, as he slaughters them. Nabokov's stories isolate their characters and give the most importance to his lonesome and loneliness.
Vladimir Nabokov is now a part of narative litterature history, and such an important part it is. His stories are hard to read, very hard actually, but no harder than what it took to write them. They should be read and "Vintage Nabokov" can be a good start point for it.
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Reading Progress

10/06/2009 page 30
10/14/2009 page 80
38.46% "I'm on heaven with Nabokov!"
10/19/2009 page 100
48.08% "Currently in Lolita"
11/12/2009 page 107
51.44% "Just stopped were I was."
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