Dale Jr.'s Reviews > Mary

Mary by Vladimir Nabokov
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's review
Oct 01, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, literature, favorites, 4-star

Memories and shadows. Images of the past that roll through the mind like smoke escaping the bellies of locomotives. A photo. A certain scent. Mary. Mary is coming.

Nabokov's first novel has cemented his place on my list of favorite writers. His writing is consistently and incredibly beautiful. In his preface to this printing, he discusses the process of translating "Mary" to English and the problems with the story he refused to fix in the process, retaining every bit of the original writing as possible, save for a few cultural differences.

Problems? Where, Mr. Nabokov? No, "Mary" is not as polished or mature as, say, "Lolita", but I hardly found anything detrimental to it. Except maybe the fact that it was over too quickly and left me wanting more, but in a good way. Hungry for more of Nabokov's incredible prose.

"Mary" is a dream. A ghost. Even when we're presented the present reality instead of Ganin's reconstruction of his past love life with the ethereal beauty of Mary, it is as though we're in a surreal dream state. We wait to wake up in anticipation of Mary. But sometimes our memories and dreams are sweeter than the reality.

This short novel is chalk full of vivid descriptions so skillfully written, I have a feeling they'll be seeping into my own dreams, placing the shade of Mary in my own memories. Maybe I'll find myself waiting on the platform of a train station. Waiting to see the slightly-frayed ends of Mary's black ribbon in her hair, or to catch a glimpse of her enchanting eyes.

A small dose of Nabokov (just over 100 pages), I'd recommend this to anyone, really. New or familiar with the Russian's writing. If you're new to Nabokov, know that his writing, as far as I've experienced, only becomes more beautiful with his age.

I'm off to daydream of Mary.
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Reading Progress

October 1, 2012 – Started Reading
October 1, 2012 – Shelved
October 1, 2012 – Shelved as: fiction
October 1, 2012 – Shelved as: literature
October 1, 2012 –
page 28
24.56% "Nabokov's writing never ceases to amaze me. Such beauty."
October 1, 2012 –
page 49
42.98%
October 1, 2012 –
page 78
68.42%
October 1, 2012 –
page 144
100%
October 1, 2012 – Shelved as: favorites
October 1, 2012 – Finished Reading
October 13, 2012 – Shelved as: 4-star

Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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message 1: by Jenn(ifer) (new)

Jenn(ifer) Why doesn't this review have more 'likes'????


Dale Jr. Jenn(ifer) wrote: "Why doesn't this review have more 'likes'????"

I'm not sure. I don't whore my reviews out all that much maybe?


message 3: by Jenn(ifer) (new)

Jenn(ifer) I think they must get lost due to the high volume of "devil's advocate" group postings on the feed. Unless people have their feed set to 'review only,' your reviews probably get missed. I could be completely wrong about that.

Or maybe you need to be more of a whore? ;)


Dale Jr. Jenn(ifer) wrote: "I think they must get lost due to the high volume of "devil's advocate" group postings on the feed. Unless people have their feed set to 'review only,' your reviews probably get missed. I could be ..."

I'm not above it.

manic-frustration.blogspot.com for more of my work ;-)


message 5: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich I say whore it up! This review is ace.


Dale Jr. s.penkevich wrote: "I say whore it up! This review is ace."

Thank you, sir.


message 7: by Jenn(ifer) (new)

Jenn(ifer) Dale R. wrote: "Jenn(ifer) wrote: "I think they must get lost due to the high volume of "devil's advocate" group postings on the feed. Unless people have their feed set to 'review only,' your reviews probably get ..."

feel free to show some leg... seems to work for me ;)


Dale Jr. Jenn(ifer) wrote: "Dale R. wrote: "Jenn(ifer) wrote: "I think they must get lost due to the high volume of "devil's advocate" group postings on the feed. Unless people have their feed set to 'review only,' your revie..."

You've got far better legs than I do.


message 9: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich You can always unbutton those top two buttons then.
(excuse me as I be the awkward third wheel leaving awkward comments)


message 10: by Jenn(ifer) (new)

Jenn(ifer) I'm sure that depends on who you ask!


message 11: by Jenn(ifer) (new)

Jenn(ifer) s.penkevich wrote: "You can always unbutton those top two buttons then.
(excuse me as I be the awkward third wheel leaving awkward comments)"


hahahahhaha!!!! you guys are vest twins!


message 12: by Dale (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dale Jr. Jenn(ifer) wrote: "I'm sure that depends on who you ask!"

This is a rather true statement.


message 13: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Jenn(ifer) wrote: "s.penkevich wrote: "You can always unbutton those top two buttons then.
(excuse me as I be the awkward third wheel leaving awkward comments)"

hahahahhaha!!!! you guys are vest twins!"


The vest is always best


message 14: by Dale (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dale Jr. Jenn(ifer) wrote: "s.penkevich wrote: "You can always unbutton those top two buttons then.
(excuse me as I be the awkward third wheel leaving awkward comments)"

hahahahhaha!!!! you guys are vest twins!"


As s.penkevich has said, vests are best!


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