The late Vladimir Nabokov always did things his
way, and his classic autobiography is no exception. No dry recital of dates, names, and addresses for this linguistic magician--instead, Speak, Memory
is a succession of lapidary episodes, in which the factoids play second fiddle to the development of Nabokov's sensibility. There is, to be sure, an impressionistic whirl through the author's family history (including a gallery of Tartar princes and fin-de-siècle oddities). And Nabokov's account of his tenure at St. Petersburg's famous Tenishev School--where he counted Osip Mandelstam
among his schoolmates--offers a lovely glimpse into the heart of Russia's silver age. Still, Nabokov is much too artful an autobiographer to present Speak, Memory
as a slice of reality--a word, by the way, that he insisted must always be surrounded by quotation marks.
From Library Journal
Published as Conclusive Evidence in 1951 and later revised in 1966, Nabokov's title has been further updated with an additional, previously unseen chapter. Considering his profile in world literature, this is essential for public and academic libraries.
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