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Details of a Sunset and Other Stories Paperback – September 1, 1980


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill (September 1980)
  • ISBN-10: 0070457212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070457218
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,344,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Russian (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Nabokov household was trilingual, and 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 ficticvbn ral books of criticism. Vladimir Nabokov died in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By darragh o'donoghue on August 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I think it's a shame the 'Collected Stories', with its dull chronological order and unimaginative completeness, has come to supersede the four volumes specially prepared by Nabokov in the 1970s, which were, as his son and co-translator Dmitri says, 'painstakingly assorted and orchestrated by Nabokov using various criteria - theme, period, atmosphere, uniformity and variety'. the stories were translated with these volumes in mind, and to break up their order is to risk destroying Nabokov's carefully calculated voice.
The stories in 'Details of a Sunset', written between 1924 and 1935, mostly centre on the Russian emigre experience in Berlin Nabokov himself was living, as he struggled to write his first novels. It is a world of pale, starving writers, small, shabby rooms, dark, streetlamp-lit streets, jerky trams; a world in which present love affairs are bleak and deadly, and ideal ones are ruptured by misunderstanding or death; where reunions with lost family members are painfully inopportune.
this could all sound oppressively glum; what makes these stories sparkle is Nabokov's aggressively alert consciousness, his ability to literally light up the dreary by illuminating tiny, irrelevant details that combine to create magical tableaux - a focus on the material that produces an exciting spiritual rush.
Two stories here, 'A Bad Day' and 'Orache', would be later reworked in Nabokov's miraculous memoir 'Speak, Memory', and already the Russian's charged nostalgia exerts a magnetic pull.
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