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5 Burnside Literature- A to Z

The Defense (Vintage International)

by

The Defense (Vintage International) Cover

ISBN13: 9780679727224
ISBN10: 0679727221
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Nabokov's third novel, The Luzhin Defense, is a chilling story of obsession and madness. As a young boy, Luzhin was unattractive,  distracted, withdrawn, sullen--an enigma to his parents and an object of ridicule to his classmates. He takes up chess as a refuge from the anxiety of his everyday life.  His talent is prodigious and he rises to the rank of grandmaster--but at a cost:  in Luzhin' s obsessive mind, the game of chess gradually supplants the world of reality.   His own world falls apart during a crucial championship match, when the intricate defense he has devised withers  under his opponent's unexpected and unpredictabke lines of assault.

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

criss29, December 3, 2006 (view all comments by criss29)

"The Defense" is truly a very good book, but the author, like many other Russians before him and after him, describes a world in which anxiety full of meaning, ancestral melancholy and patological sadness rule... A complex psychological painting, insecurity and an infinite daydreaming... Such sensibility is seen like a disease of the soul, and the more the character tries to refuse the past, the more will it strike him and arise..., making him comit suicide.He must escape.The tension is too big.There is no other way.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780679727224
Other:
Scammell, Michael
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Author:
Nabokov, Vladimir
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Novels and novellas
Subject:
Chess
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
Continental european fiction (fictional works
Subject:
Russian literature
Subject:
Chess -- Fiction.
Subject:
Romance Norte Americano
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage International (Paperback)
Series Volume:
0000
Publication Date:
19900831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8 x 5.1 x .55 in .45 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

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