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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.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Nabokovs were known for their high culture and commitment to public service, and the elder Nabokov was an outspoken opponent of antisemitism and one of the leaders of the opposition party, the Kadets. In 1919, following the Bolshevik revolution, he took his family into exile. Four years later he was shot and killed at a political rally in Berlin while trying to shield the speaker from right-wing assassins.
The Nabokov household was trilingual, and as a child Nabokov was already reading Wells, Poe, Browning, Keats, Flaubert, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, alongside the popular entertainments of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne. As a young man, he studied Slavic and romance languages at Trinity College, Cambridge, taking his honors degree in 1922. For the next eighteen years he lived in Berlin and Paris, writing prolifically in Russian under the pseudonym Sirin and supporting himself through translations, lessons in English and tennis, and by composing the first crossword puzzles in Russian. In 1925 he married Vera Slonim, with whom he had one child, a son, Dmitri.
Having already fled Russia and Germany, Nabokov became a refugee once more in 1940, when he was forced to leave France for the United States. There he taught at Wellesley, Harvard, and Cornell. He also gave up writing in Russian and began composing fiction in English. In his afterword to Lolita he claimed: "My private tragedy, which cannot, and indeed should not, be anybody's concern, is that I had to abandon my natural idiom, my untrammeled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English, devoid of any of those apparatuses--the baffling mirror, the black velvet backdrop, the implied associations and traditions--which the native illusionist, frac-tails flying, can magically use to transcend the heritage in his own way." [p. 317] Yet Nabokov's American period saw the creation of what are arguably his greatest works, Bend Sinister (1947), Lolita (1955), Pnin (1957), and Pale Fire (1962), as well as the translation of his earlier Russian novels into English. He also undertook English translations of works by Lermontov and Pushkin and wrote several books of criticism. Vladimir Nabokov died in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977.
I DO NOT LIKE THIS NEW THING OF THE DROP DOWN BOXES FOR DESCRIPTIONS OF BOOKS. IT IS TERRIBLE. I had to pick the 4 categories and for a complex book, they are not correct. Read morePublished 4 months ago by #999,999,999+1(me)
This is a great work of literature. Nabokov writes about an incestous love between siblings. Don't be annoyed when he writes in a foreign language and doesn't translate the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
It's a little hard to follow since i don't have the background to understand a lot of the references.Published 6 months ago by April
This time Nabokov’s pet theme of true, lasting, first, yet socially-unacceptable love comes in the form of an incestuous relationship that lasts from the character’s adolescence... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Victoria Craven
I am slightly biased as Nabakov is my favorite writer, but this is a masterpiece. Most people mention Lolita and, sometimes, Pale Fire when discussing Nabakov. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Zach
This is Nabokov's final work of fiction and he goes all out in his love of language artistry, paradoxical references and joyful play with memory and romance. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Lewis Baker
Nabokov is a brilliant writer, with stunning imagery and sarcastic wit. It is a beautiful book, however I did struggle with some of the explicit content. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Jasmine Low