lisa_emily's Reviews > The Luzhin Defense

The Luzhin Defense by Vladimir Nabokov
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's review
Nov 06, 2007

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bookshelves: fictions, russian-lit
Read in October, 2007

You may read The Defense and you may think it is about the impenetrable character, Luzhin, but slowly you may realize that Luzhin is the most knowable of the characters. The whole story is told from his point of view. Then, perhaps, it may come to light that the most enigmatic character is, in fact, his wife. The reader never hears her real name, (except when she becomes Mrs. Luzhin) nor does the reader ever really know why she marries the beastly Luzhin. Does she pity him? Does she need to care for someone? Does she value his chess genius?

Another thing that I started to think about after reading this novel, (and this is the third Nabokov novel I have read) is all his novels fronted with despicable narrators? I could not identify or even pity Luzhin; I would not even want to know him under normal circumstances. But like all other Nabokov novels, there are many other subtexts running under the surface of the story.


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