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The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov by Vladimir…
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The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov

by Vladimir Nabokov

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Oh boy. I struggled with this one. There was a handful of stories I enjoyed a lot (Signs and Symbols, The Potato Elf, and a few more). But, on the whole, it was a hard slog. Partly, I think its because of the first-person narrative voice in some of the stories, which comes across as a pompous old know-it-all. Then, there's a sensory overload as Nabokov describes everything in such minute detail. The challenge with this kind of writing is that, while it is exquisitely beautiful in small doses, when there's too much, it's almost a sensory overload. And, the descriptive/expository bits completely overpower character and plot so that you're left with a shiny piece of prose that feels empty and weightless in the end.

I do love his novels and non-fiction and will be re-reading some of that soon enough. ( )
  jennybhatt | Jun 17, 2015 |
I don't know what happened, though the decrepitude of my iPod might explain it (in the past four years it twice has resurrected itself from the Sad Mac Face). I was listening to a story about White Russian emigrÀ_•À_s in Berlin keeping a GPU agent captive and then all of a sudden I was listening to a love story with Bach and some rain with no jump in elapsed time. I'll pause this for a bit and come back to it later.
  ljhliesl | Jun 1, 2013 |
I love love love love love love these stories. Gems, each and every one. Praise be to Nabokov ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 29, 2013 |
I've read most of the Russian writers, but simply couldn't get into Nabokov. I can tell there is some depth I'm not grasping, but reading shouldn't be as much work as required in every one of his stories. In other cases, I felt like the potential impact fell flat, such as in A Matter of Chance, where the ending came on so quickly that it was anti-climatic compared to the build up up to it. I turned from his earlier stories, to one of his later and most renowned works, The Vane Sisters. That one seemed more developed but still didn't resonate with me. I guess I'm not motivated by stories that have more nuance than dynamic plot or character development. ( )
1 vote jpsnow | Jul 17, 2010 |
In his stories, Vladimir Nabokov so perfectly captures a character, or a setting, or an emotion, that I feel that the character is real, the setting surrounds me, and the emotion is my own.

His writing in these stories is so well done that I, a very amateur writer, feel the urge to try my hand at capturing the images around me, a task I will surely fail because I know I will never even remotely measure up to Nabokov’s incredible talent.

The unfortunate aspect of reading more than 60 of Nabokov’s short stories in one month is that the characters he so adroitly creates, the settings he so carefully draws, and the feelings he so perfectly captures are, for the most part, miserable, gloomy, and ultimately depressing. Also, some of his stories have fantastical elements that failed to resonate with me, and most dwell on negative aspects of human nature - subjects that weren’t pleasant for reading in bulk.

But I feel that the overall quality of Vladimir Nabokov’s writing is so extraordinary that he should be read simply for the marvelous experience that comes from reading his words, even if the reader doesn’t necessarily consider the negative underlying themes amazing.

More detailed review on my blog
  rebeccareid | Dec 1, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679729976, Paperback)

These stories, written between the early 1920s to the mid-1950s, reveal the fascinating progress of Nabokov's early development as they remind us that we are in the presence of a magnificent original, a genuine master. Edited by his son and translator, Dmitri Nabokov, this volume is a literary event.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Here, for the first time, the stories of one of the century's greatest prose stylists are collected in a single, comprehensive volume. Written from the early 1920s - the years of his exile from Russia - to the mid-1950s, when he abandoned the story form and turned to his English-language masterpieces Lolita, Pale Fire, and Ada, these stories reveal the fascinating progress of Nabokov's early development as they remind us that we are in the presence of a magnificent original, a genuine master. Edited by his son and translator, Dmitri Nabokov, The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov is a literary event and a celebration of his art.… (more)

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