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Library of America Vladimir Nabokov Edition

Vladimir Nabokov
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Library of America Vladimir Nabokov Edition : Titles in Order

Book 3
This Library of America volume is the third of three devoted to Vladimir Nabokov, and contains the evanescent works of his later years.

Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle (1969), the longest of Nabokov’s novels, is a witty and parodic account of a man’s lifelong love for his sister. All of his favorite themes and most characteristic techniques are woven into this culminating work of Nabokov’s imagination. The linguistic richness of the book’s free blending of English, Russian, and French is matched by the baroque and dreamlike splendor of the alternate universe it creates, a universe in which time moves in more than one direction and all details are cunningly interrelated. Alfred Kazin wrote on its original publication: “Ada, coming after Lolita and Pale Fire, makes a trilogy with no contemporary peer.”

Transparent Things (1972) is a haunting novella of the anguished life of Hugh Person, a young American editor and proofreader: his marriage, the murder of his wife, and the lone journey to uncover the truth about the past. With its multiple narrative voices and fusion of dream and memory, it is among the most formally experimental of Nabokov’s works.

Look at the Harlequins! (1974), Nabokov’s final novel, concerns Vadim Vadimovitch N., a novelist very much like Nabokov himself. This ironic, intricate hall of mirrors, startling in its shifts of tone and off-key echoes of Nabokov’s earlier books, often blurs the line between the worlds of reality and of literary invention.

Nabokov’s penciled corrections in his own copies of his works are incorporated into these, the most authoritative versions available, and have been prepared with the assistance of Dmitri Nabokov, the novelist’s son.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 2
This Library of America volume is the second of three volumes presenting the most authoritative versions of the English works of the brilliant Russian émigré, Vladimir Nabokov.

Lolita (1955), Nabokov’s single most famous work, is one of the most controversial and widely read books of its time. Funny, satiric, poignant, filled with allusions to earlier American writers, it is the “confession” of a middle-aged, sophisticated European émigré’s passionate obsession with a twelve-year-old American “nymphet,” and the story of their wanderings across a late 1940s America of highways and motels. (Nabokov’s film adaptation of Lolita, as originally written for director Stanley Kubrick, is also included.)

Pnin (1957) is a comic masterpiece about a gentle, bald Russian émigré professor in an American college town who is never quite able to master its language, its politics, or its train schedule. Nabokov’s years as a teacher provided rich background for this satirical picture of academic life, with an unforgettable figure at its center: “It was the world that was absent-minded and it was Pnin whose business it was to set it straight. His life was a constant war with insensate objects that fell apart, or attacked him, or refused to function, or viciously got themselves lost as soon as they entered the sphere of his existence.”

Pale Fire (1962) is a tour de force in the form of an ostensibly autobiographical poem by a recently deceased American poet and a critical commentary by an academic who is something other than what he seems. Its unique structure, pitting artist against seemingly worshipful critic, sets the stage for some of Nabokov’s most intricate games of deception and concealment.

The texts of this volume incorporate Nabokov’s penciled corrections in his own copies of his works which correct long-standing errors, and have been prepared with the assistance of Dmitri Nabokov, the novelist’s son.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 1
This Library of America volume is the first of three volumes presenting the most authoritative versions of the English works of the brilliant Russian émigré, Vladimir Nabokov.

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, the first novel Vladimir Nabokov wrote in English, published a year after he moved to the United States, is a tantalizing literary mystery in which a writer’s half brother searches to unravel the enigma of the life of a famous author. A characteristically cunning play on identity and deception, this novel was published in 1941.

Bend Sinister (1947), Nabokov’s most explicitly political novel, is the haunting, dreamlike story of Adam Krug, a quiet philosophy professor caught up in the bureaucratic bungling of a totalitarian police state. “I am neither a didacticist nor an allegorizer,” Nabokov affirms in his introduction to the novel, but goes on to state: “There can be distinguished, no doubt, certain reflections in the glass caused by idiotic and despicable regimes that we all know and that have brushed against me in the course of my life: worlds of tyranny and torture, of Fascists and Bolshevists, of Philistine thinkers and jack-booted baboons.”

Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited (1951; revised 1966), Nabokov’s dazzling memoir of his childhood in imperial Russia and exile in Europe, is central to an understanding of his art. With its balance of inner and outer worlds—of family chronicle and private fantasy, revolutions and butterflies, the games of childhood and the disasters of politics—the work that Nabokov called “a systematically correlated assemblage of personal recollections” is a haunting transmutation of life into art. 

The texts of this volume incorporate Nabokov’s penciled corrections in his own copies of his works and correct long-standing errors. They are the most authoritative versions available and have been prepared with the assistance of Dmitri Nabokov, the novelist’s son.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

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