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Invitation to a Beheading (Vintage International)

by

Invitation to a Beheading (Vintage International) Cover

ISBN13: 9780679725312
ISBN10: 0679725318
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Like Kafka's The Castle, Invitation to a Beheading embodies a vision of a bizarre and irrational world. In an unnamed dream country, the young man Cincinnatus C. is condemned to death by beheading for "gnostical turpitude." an imaginary crime that defies definition. Cincinnatus spends his last days in an absurd jail, where he is visited by chimerical jailers. an executioner who masquerades as a fellow prisoner, and by his in-laws. who lug their furniture with them into his cell. When Cincinnatus is led out to be executed. he simply wills his executioners out of existence: they disappear, along with the whole world they inhabit.

About the Author

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Nabokovs were known for their high culture and commitment to public service, and the elder Nabokov was an outspoken opponent of antisemitism and one of the leaders of the opposition party, the Kadets. In 1919, following the Bolshevik revolution, he took his family into exile. Four years later he was shot and killed at a political rally in Berlin while trying to shield the speaker from right-wing assassins.

The Nabokov household was trilingual, and as a child Nabokov was already reading Wells, Poe, Browning, Keats, Flaubert, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, alongside the popular entertainments of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne. As a young man, he studied Slavic and romance languages at Trinity College, Cambridge, taking his honors degree in 1922. For the next eighteen years he lived in Berlin and Paris, writing prolifically in Russian under the pseudonym Sirin and supporting himself through translations, lessons in English and tennis, and by composing the first crossword puzzles in Russian. In 1925 he married Vera Slonim, with whom he had one child, a son, Dmitri.

Having already fled Russia and Germany, Nabokov became a refugee once more in 1940, when he was forced to leave France for the United States. There he taught at Wellesley, Harvard, and Cornell. He also gave up writing in Russian and began composing fiction in English. In his afterword to Lolita he claimed: "My private tragedy, which cannot, and indeed should not, be anybody's concern, is that I had to abandon my natural idiom, my untrammeled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English, devoid of any of those apparatuses--the baffling mirror, the black velvet backdrop, the implied associations and traditions--which the native illusionist, frac-tails flying, can magically use to transcend the heritage in his own way." [p. 317] Yet Nabokov's American period saw the creation of what are arguably his greatest works, Bend Sinister (1947), Lolita (1955), Pnin (1957), and Pale Fire (1962), as well as the translation of his earlier Russian novels into English. He also undertook English translations of works by Lermontov and Pushkin and wrote several books of criticism. Vladimir Nabokov died in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

ohteppei, November 26, 2010 (view all comments by ohteppei)
My fictional Tin Drum, Invitation is where I think we all stand; in a prison never knowing when it's our time. Despite his far more popular works such as Lolita and The Gift, Nabokov managed to capture my mind with this book. It's daunting and precious structure tells the story of a man condemned to death because he wasn't the same as everyone else. One of the most beautifully written books I've ever read and a firm recommendation for any one who appreciated Nabokov's other works or any Dostoyevsky book.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780679725312
Translator:
Nabokov, Dmitri
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Translator:
Nabokov, Dmitri
Author:
Nabokov, Vladimir
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Novels and novellas
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
Continental european fiction (fictional works
Subject:
20th century
Subject:
Russian & Former Soviet Union
Subject:
Continental european
Subject:
Russian fiction
Subject:
Russian fiction -- 20th century.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage International (Paperback)
Series Volume:
9287
Publication Date:
19890931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8 x 5.2 x 0.62 in 0.5 lb

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Related Subjects

» Featured Titles » Literature
» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
» Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

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