In Pale Fire Nabokov offers a cornucopia of deceptive pleasures: a 999-line poem by the reclusive genius John Shade; an adoring foreword and commentary by Shade's self-styled Boswell, Dr. Charles Kinbote; a darkly comic novel of suspense, literary idolatry and one-upmanship, and political intrigue.
No marriage of a major twentieth-century writer is quite as beguiling as that of Vladimir Nabokovs to Véra Slonim. She shared his delight at the enchantment of lifes trifles and literatures treasures, and he rated her as having the best and quickest sense of humor of any woman he had met. From their first encounter in 1923, Vladimirs letters to Véra chronicle a half-century-long love story, one that is playful, romantic, and memorable. At the same time, the letters reveal much about their author. We see the infectious fascination with which Vladimir observed everything--animals, people, speech, landscapes and cityscapes--and glimpse his ceaseless work on his poems, plays, stories, novels, memoirs, screenplays, and translations. This delightful volume is enhanced by twenty-one photographs, as well as facsimiles of the letters and the puzzles and drawings Vladimir often sent to Véra. With 8 pages of photographs and 47 illustrations in text
"Transparent Things revolves around the four visits of the hero--sullen, gawky Hugh Person--to Switzerland . . . As a young publisher, Hugh is sent to interview R., falls in love with Armande on the way, wrests her, after multiple humiliations, from a grinning Scandinavian and returns to NY with his bride. . . . Eight years later--following a murder, a period of madness and a brief imprisonment--Hugh makes a lone sentimental journey to wheedle out his past. . . . The several strands of dream, memory, and time [are] set off against the literary theorizing of R. and, more centrally, against the world of observable objects." --Martin Amis
The Gift is the last of the novels Nabokov wrote in his native Russian and the crowning achievement of that period in his literary career. It is also his ode to Russian literature, evoking the works of Pushkin, Gogol, and others in the course of its narrative: the story of Fyodor Godunov-Cherdyntsev, an impoverished emigre poet living in Berlin, who dreams of the book he will someday write--a book very much like The Gift itself.
Published two weeks after his seventieth birthday, Ada, or Ardor is one of Nabokov's greatest masterpieces, the glorious culmination of his career as a novelist. It tells a love story troubled by incest. But more: it is also at once a fairy tale, epic, philosophical treatise on the nature of time, parody of the history of the novel, and erotic catalogue. Ada, or Ardor is no less than the supreme work of an imagination at white heat. This is the first American edition to include the extensive and ingeniously sardonic appendix by the author, written under the anagrammatic pseudonym Vivian Darkbloom.
Albinus, a respectable, middle-aged man and aspiring filmmaker, abandons his wife for a lover half his age: Margot, who wants to become a movie star herself. When Albinus introduces her to Rex, an American movie producer, disaster ensues. What emerges is an elegantly sardonic and irresistibly ironic novel of desire, deceit, and deception, a curious romance set in the film world of Berlin in the 1930s.