Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged, fastidious college professor. He also likes little girls. And none more so than Lolita, who he'll do anything to possess. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster?! Or is he all of these?
Pnin is a professor of Russian at an American college who takes the wrong train to deliver a lecture in a language he cannot master. Pnin is a tireless lover who writes to his treacherous Liza: "A genius needs to keep so much in store, and thus cannot offer you the whole of himself as I do." Pnin is the focal point of subtle academic conspiracies he cannot begin to comprehend, yet he stages a faculty party to end all faculty parties forever.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Biographical noteVladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) was born in St Petersburg. He wrote his first literary works in Russian, but rose to international prominence as a masterly prose stylist for the novels he composed in English, most famously, Lolita. Between 1923 and 1940 he published novels, short stories, plays, poems and translations in the Russian language and established himself as one of the most outstanding Russian émigré writers. Main descriptionVladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire, with its wildly original narrative structure, is a postmodern masterpiece from the author of Lolita, skewering the politics of academia, the struggle for interpretation, and the infinite subjectivity of human experience, published in Penguin Modern Classics. The American poet John Shade is dead; murdered. His last poem, Pale Fire, is put into a book, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he also mad, bad - and even dangerous? As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal and the fantastical, Kinbote reveals perhaps more than he ought. Who is Charles Kinbote - could he be the exiled King Charles of Zembla, or the Russian madman, Professor Botkin? Or is he just another of John Shade's literary inventions? Nabokov's darkly witty, richly inventive masterwork is a suspenseful whodunit, a story of one-upmanship and dubious penmanship, and a glorious literary conundrum. Vladimir Nabokov (1977-1899) was born in St Petersburg, but left Russia when the Bolsheviks seized power. His family moved to England for a brief spell and finally settled in Berlin. His first novel in English was The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, published in 1941. His other books include Ada, Laughter in the Dark, Details of a Sunset and Lolita, his best-known novel. If you enjoyed Pale Fire, you might like Nabokov's Invitation to a Beheading, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'A Jack-in-the-box, a Fabergé gem, a clockwork toy, a chess problem' Mary McCarthy 'Pale Fire must be one of the most brilliant and extraordinary novels ever written, let alone in the twentieth century' William Boyd, author of Any Human Heart
Main descriptionWhen Lolita was first published in 1955 it created a sensation and established Nabokov as one of the most original prose writers of the twentieth century. This annotated edition, a revised and considerably expanded version of the 1970 edition, does full justice to the textual riches of Lolita, illuminating the elaborate verbal textures and showing how they contribute to the novel's overall meaning. Alfred Appel, Jr. also provides fresh observations on the novel's artifice, games and verbal patternings and a delightful biographical vignette of Nabokov. The annotations themselves were prepared in consultation with Nabokov while newly identified allusions were confirmed by him during the final years of his life.
Linking various minor events, this work switches back-and-forth producing an illusion of impetus.
An autobiographical volume covering Nabokov's first 40 years up to his departure from Europe for America at the outset of World War II, telling of his emergence as a writer, his early loves and his marriage, his passion for butterflies and his lost homeland.
A landmark publication of the literary master's unfinished final work is a fragmented draft as hand-written on 138 index cards that were originally requested for destruction and have been released by his son, in a volume that features removable facsimile reproductions.
'The illegible signature of teetering disaster' Three great stories-- The Aurelian , Signs and Symbols and Lance-- the last both a derisive attack on science-fiction and an attempt to imagine the real pain and horror that would accompany space travel. Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
With Great Loves, Penguin bring you the most seductive, inspiring and surprising writing on love in all its infinite variety... Alone in his room in a dirty Berlin pension, Ganin reminisces about Mary, his first love. He fantasizes that a fellow lodger's wife, due to arrive the next day, is his long-lost sweetheart and plots how they will run away together, leaving everything else far behind... United by the theme of love, the writings in the Great Loves series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds. Readers will be introduced to love's endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessional love...
Nouvelle édition du célèbre roman de Nabokov Pale Fire sous la forme d'une boîte noire contenant le poème de 999 vers écrit par John Shade, héros du livre, ainsi qu'une reproduction des fiches préparatoires utilisées par Shade dans le récit, en tous points fidèles à la description qu'en fait le romancier.
'The woods were gradually thinning. I was tormented by strange hallucinations.I gazed at the weird tree trunks, around some of which were coiled thick, flesh-coloured snakes; suddenly I thought I saw, between the trunks, as though through my fingers, the mirror of a half-open wardrobe.' These three stories of menace, magic and melancholy display Vladimir Nabokov's astonishing range and inventiveness. Whether describing an escape across a surreal tropical landscape, a fateful meeting or an unexpected - and threatening - return, each tale shows his dazzling sleight of hand, intellectual playfulness and fantastical imagination.
This book includes Terra Incognita, Spring in Fialta and The Doorbell.
One of the best known and most controversial works of twentieth century literature. Read here in its entirety by Jeremy Irons, who starred in the 1997 film adaptation directed by Adrian Lyne.