This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Transparent Things (Twentieth Century…

Transparent Things (Twentieth Century Classics) (original 1972; edition 1994)

by Vladimir Nabokov

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7511318,446 (3.78)15
Title:Transparent Things (Twentieth Century Classics)
Authors:Vladimir Nabokov
Info:Penguin Classics (1994), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 112 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Russian literature, Nabokov

Work details

Transparent Things by Vladimir Nabokov (1972)

Recently added bycns1000, marbas, Albert_911, private library, versaillescandy, AngeliqueMillet, jeeves1215
Legacy LibrariesDanilo Kiš



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 15 mentions

English (12)  Italian (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
The dull rainbow of a fog-dogged moon
..."he grunted and sighed in his sleep, dreaming of large unwieldy blocks of blackness"...
I suppose it goes without saying that Nabokov's prose is brilliantly inventive, full of vivid turns of phrase and dark humour, but how does the book stack up as a whole? Well, Transparent Things is a novella about the life and memories of a seemingly average man. Hugh Person is his name, and this is the snapshot story of his stand-out moments which (as the short chapters reveal) are both strange and familiar, humdrum and disastrous.
Transparent Things is a subtle book: the way Nabokov shows Hugh Person is surreal and sublime, yet also mundane and melancholic. All in all Transparent Things is an elegant work - a masterclass in the art of long short-story writing: understated, wistful, perceptive, deft, elusive and engaging -: definitely worth reading for the imaginative writing. ( )
1 vote BlackGlove | Jan 20, 2018 |
The only post-Pale Fire Nabokov I have read. Unmistakable signs of creative decline. All the Nabokovean tics are on parade: the misogynistic and egomaniacal protagonist, the disdain for Freud and the far left, the translated Russian and untranslated French, the implausible sexual episodes, the heavily foreshadowed murder, etc. But the novel has an air of zestless inconsequence, like the work of a trivial imitator such as Banville. Even the wordplay is mediocre: e.g. Hugh Person/You Person, and as far as "sly scrambles" go, Adam von Libnikov is a big step down from Vivian Darkbloom. ( )
  middlemarchhare | Nov 25, 2015 |
The hero of "Transparent Things" is an editor for a publishing company. He travels to a town in Switzerland to meet with an author, and there becomes involved with a woman who becomes his wife. It is a very short, seemingly simple, story (104 pages), yet Nabokov manages to reveal layer upon layer of complexity in the telling of Hugh Person's love/life story. I know a book has something special when I begin reading again from the first page a second after finishing the last. Nabokov caught me off guard here. I usually am irritated by his erudite, yet disdainful playing with the reader. Maybe I am just getting used to his style...? ( )
1 vote Marse | Sep 2, 2014 |
Pоманът „Прозрачни неща“ разказва за посещенията на издателя Хю Персон в Швейцария. Като млад той е изпратен да се срещне с писателя Р. и по пътя си от Америка към Швейцария се влюбва в Арманд, оженва се за нея, търпи хиляди унижения, след което се прибира в Ню Йорк с новата си съпруга... Осем години по-късно, след едно убийство, период на лудост и кратко пребиваване в затвора, Хю предприема самотно сантиментално пътешествие, за да се сбогува с миналото си. Оттук нататък всичко в живота му се развива с фаталистична предопределеност, а после и един постоянно преследващ го кошмар се превръща в реалност. Няколкото пласта на романа – сън, спомени и разместено време – се разгръщат на фона на литературните теории на писателя Р., но най-вече на фона на един пародиен свят от прозрачно (не)понятни неща, представен с неподражаемия стил на Набоков.
  andrewnedelchev | Oct 31, 2013 |
summer-2013, fraudio, published-1972, satire, switzerland
Read on August 13, 2013

Transparent Things

Fraudio> rosado> Read by Christopher Lane.
pub 1972
summer 2013
tbr busting 2013
short story (105 pages)> murder and madness
tongue in cheek
sleazy> paedophillic undertones again

from wiki: This short novel tells the story of Hugh Person, a young American editor, and the memory of his four trips to a small village in Switzerland over the course of nearly two decades.

Hugh Person is a Who? person, another dislikeable character that flooded in from the Nabokovian nib. Fantastic use of language showpieced in put-downs and acrid observations.

5* Pale Fire
4* Sebastian Knight
3* Lolita
3* The Eye
2* Transparent Things
  mimal | Aug 26, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To Véra
First words
Here's the person I want. Hullo, person! Doesn't hear me.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679725415, Paperback)

"Transparent Things revolves around the four visits of the hero--sullen, gawky Hugh Person--to Switzerland . . .  As a young publisher, Hugh is sent to interview R., falls in love with Armande on the way, wrests her, after  multiple humiliations, from a grinning Scandinavian and returns to NY with his bride. . . . Eight years later--following a murder, a period of madness and a brief imprisonment--Hugh makes a lone sentimental journey to wheedle out his past. . . . The several strands of dream, memory, and time [are] set off against the literary theorizing of R. and, more centrally, against the world of observable objects."  --Martin Amis

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:27 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

As a young publisher, Hugh is sent to interview R., falls in love with Armande on the way, wrests her, after multiple humiliations, from a grinning Scandinavian and returns to New York with his bride. Eight years later--following a murder, a period of madness and a brief imprisonment--Hugh makes a lone sentimental journey to wheedle out his past.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.78)
2 5
2.5 5
3 30
3.5 10
4 39
4.5 5
5 24

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 132,597,983 books! | Top bar: Always visible