Synopses & Reviews
Speak, Memory, first published in 1951 as Conclusive Evidence and then assiduously revised in 1966, is an elegant and rich evocation of Nabokov's life and times, even as it offers incisive insights into his major works, including Lolita, Pnin, Despair, The Gift, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, and The Luhzin Defense. One of the twentieth century's master prose stylists, Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg in 1899. He studied French and Russian literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, then lived in Berlin and Paris, where he launched a brilliant literary career. In 1940 he moved to the United States, and achieved renown as a novelist, poet, critic, and translator. He taught literature at Wellesley, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard. In 1961 he moved to Montreux, Switzerland, where he died in 1977.?When he is writing about someone or something he loves, he is irresistible; when he is writing about someone or something he despises, he can manage to enlist one's sympathies, if only momentarily, for the object of his contempt.? ? The New York Review of Books
From one of the twentieth centurya (TM)s great writers comes one of the finest autobiographies of our time. Speak, Memory is Vladimir Nabokova (TM)s moving account of a loving, civilized family, of adolescent awakenings, flight from Bolshevik terror, education in England, and A(c)migrA(c) life in Paris and Berlin. The Nabokova (TM)s were eccentric, liberal aristocrats who live a life immersed in politics and literature on splendid country estates until their world was swept away by the Russian Revolution when the author was eighteen years old. Speak, Memory vividly evokes a vanished past in the inimitable prose of Nabokov at his best.
A note about the a oenew chaptera: When Vladimir Nabokov first prepared his autobiography, he planned to include a final chapter disguised as a review of his book written by an anonymous critic. He later decided against incorporating the chapter into his memoir.
a oeThe finest autobiography written in our timea ]Nabokov re-creates a] lost world with an affecting tenderness and exuberance.a a The New Republic
"[Nabokov] has fleshed the bare bones of historical data with hilarious anecdotes and with a felicity of style that makes "Speak, Memory" a constant pleasure . . . Confirmed Nabokovians will relish the further clues and references to his fictional works that shine like nuggets in the silver stream of his prose."--"Harper."