sarah gilbert’s Reviews > Speak, Memory > Status Update

sarah gilbert
sarah gilbert is finished
unfair! unfair! to finish a book that rose and fell in sparks of brilliance and self-absorption with the pitch-perfect, extraordinarily loving tone poem to fatherhood, to you, Vera, who he never describes but talks to as if he is talking to himself. he may be ranting insanities but they're those the rest of us can only compose by bits and drabbles...
Jan 14, 2011 11:20PM
Speak, Memory

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sarah gilbert
sarah gilbert is on page 294 of 316
reading about his obsession with chess -- to the point where he dreams about strategies, loses time that should have been spent on writing -- makes me wonder if my future memoirs will include similar agonizing over plants vs. zombies.
Jan 14, 2011 10:13PM
Speak, Memory


sarah gilbert
sarah gilbert is on page 273 of 316
poor Cambridge, with the memory again of the stepping in tea things. and this, I wanted to remember: Nabokov complains of 'a curious affection called anxietas tibiarum, a painful condition of unrest... which leads to a continual chahnge in the position of one's limbs.' is this restless leg syndrome? teehee.
Jan 13, 2011 05:05PM
Speak, Memory


sarah gilbert
sarah gilbert is on page 267 of 316
I'm finding his Cambridge years as dull and grey as Nabokov does, maddening, and funny of course (the "festive" tinkle of the ice breaking on the wash basin in the morning). like Dillard, once he reached the age of 16, he rushes to the end. what else matters but the awakening of one's conscious, the ad-nauseum listing of great works you've read?
Jan 13, 2011 11:10AM
Speak, Memory


sarah gilbert
sarah gilbert is on page 202 of 316
seeing Nabokov's memories is all a matter of perspective; his faceted one, shown through the prism of books lost and saved, family albums, historical documents, his adult experiences, images that seem to spring wholly created to life in his head a half-century later. how much is real memory? how much simply a flash of (as he would put it) projected images pulled from his subconscious and placed on an ivory screen?
Jan 10, 2011 01:50PM
Speak, Memory


sarah gilbert
sarah gilbert is on page 152 of 316
once again, finding so many echoes of Dillard; these two are eerie read in succession. the bit about the reflections of the countryside in the train windows, and the shadows at night, is so familiar from Annie's squares-of-light-and-shadow one of her early childhood. and Collette! the little girl who, Nabokov decides, is being abused by her Parisian parents. the story is worth a novel, itself.
Jan 05, 2011 12:45PM
Speak, Memory


sarah gilbert
sarah gilbert is on page 125 of 316
one ceases wondering how such an erudite man could come up with the idea for 'Lolita' when one realizes that he adores nothing so much as painting the microscopic sex organs of butterflies. still, there is so much beauty and a refined sense of vocabulary -- its use is virtuosic -- that it's worth slogging even in the slow parts. his reverence for creation reminds me much of 'pilgrim at tinker creek' (or the reverse)
Jan 03, 2011 10:35PM
Speak, Memory


sarah gilbert
sarah gilbert is on page 19 of 316
I'm only just through the introduction so far, picked up when i couldn't, for some reason, focus on annie dillard any longer. but it's fascinating to see how nabakov has chosen to change his series of stories based on the corrective memories of his friends and relatives, and through his own concentration (in a time spend in oregon, naturally, where everyone goes to focus their memories). and what a beautiful foreward
Nov 10, 2010 10:57AM
Speak, Memory


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sarah gilbert ... jumping up to the surface to see the clean air just for an instant before falling back down again into the sea of somewhat-ordinary.


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