Speak, Memory

Some autobiographies are enjoyed for the content of their revelations, others for their style and quality of prose in which they are executed. Speak, Memory (1967) by Russian emigre Vladimir Nabokov (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Nabokov) is certainly the latter. It offers a gorgeous and beguiling account of a pampered Russian childhood broken into fragments of exile and loss by revolutionary upheaval after 1917. From summer games on the family’s estate near St Petersburg to punting on the Cam and chess problems in Berlin, these richly wrought scenes from a shattered idyll stay alert to the tricks of memory, even as they bathe in a nostalgic bliss.

Nabokov’s vocabulary is vast and he seemingly uses it with breathtaking precision without effort. The author is passionate, nostalgic and reflective. Here you can discover the life behind the author of Lolita (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lolita).  Some may find the prose too over-wrought but I think this one is worth the ride. 288 pages.

ISBN 978-0141183220

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