Li He
Li He asked:

Can anyone detect from the writing alone that this book was not written by a native speaker of English? Any comments about the author's English as shown in this book?

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Greg Heli, I think the fact that Nabokov's primary language was not English enabled him to play fast and loose with words and rules and thoughts, etc. If anything, this 'limitation' allowed him to create what can arguably be called one of the most original novels in the English language.
Karen Nabokov wrote masterfully in english- Lolita proves that.
Yurij Mikhalevich You should find interesting the epigraph left by Nabokov to the Russian translation of this book. This translation was made by Nabokov himself.

"Story of this translation is the story of a disappointment. Alas, that 'wonderful Russian language' which, I imagined, still awaits me somewhere, which blooms like a faithful spring behind the locked gate to which I, after so many years, still possess the key, turned out to be non-existent, and there is nothing beyond that gate, except for some burned out stumps and hopeless autumnal emptiness, and the key in my hand looks rather like a lock pick."

You may read the whole one here: http://www.csus.edu/indiv/m/maddendw/...
Wendy I just presumed that the book had been translated from Russian, and extremely well at that and was surprised to realise that it hadn't. No, I do not think you can tell that English was not his first language, he wields it with more skill than most, perhaps any, others
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