Despair [NOOK Book]

Overview

Extensively revised by Nabokov in 1965--thirty years after its original publication--Despair is the wickedly inventive and richly derisive story of Hermann, a man who undertakes the perfect crime--his own murder.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

The protagonist, a neurotic scoundrel, undertakes the perfect crime: his own ...

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Despair

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Overview

Extensively revised by Nabokov in 1965--thirty years after its original publication--Despair is the wickedly inventive and richly derisive story of Hermann, a man who undertakes the perfect crime--his own murder.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

The protagonist, a neurotic scoundrel, undertakes the perfect crime: his own murder.

Read More Show Less

What People Are Saying

John Updike
"Nabakov writes prose the only way it should be written, that is, estatically."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307787668
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/16/2011
  • Series: Vintage International
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 420,265
  • File size: 499 KB

Meet 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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Biography

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.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Vladimir Sirin
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 23, 1899
    2. Place of Birth:
      St. Petersburg, Russia
    1. Date of Death:
      July 2, 1977
    2. Place of Death:
      Montreux, Switzerland

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2001

    'Tum-tee-tum. And once more -- TUM!'

    This novel both disgusts and delights at once. The despicable narrator, Hermann Hermann (no that's not an error),with his skewed perceptions, constantly lies and challenges your assumptions as you read. The narration is unique as well; sometimes it seems as if Nabokov's voice is slipping in between Hermann's (when he speaks of different ways to start the chapter, for instance). As with his other novels, Nabokov plays with words as if they're toys, with interesting and usually masterful results. Despair is one of the most unique books I¿ve ever read, by one of the most intriguing authors to ever write. Though you may be puzzled, you won't be disappointed.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013

    Aria

    5"3, auburn hair, brown eyes. Now lets go fu.q but not here. Meet me at wet n wild res one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013

    Mysteryguy to aria

    Tell me how you look like then i will have s.e.x. with you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Plz STOP

    GUYS???SERIOUSLY??? THIIS BAD FOR U LITTLKIWILL NE ON AND LEARN FROM U I CAN TELL BARNES AND NOBLE AND U WILL B IN SERIOUTROBLE BY THEM AND UR PARENTS SO STOP PLZ THAT IS WHAT I DID JUST STOPPED ICOMPLETLEYT

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    Darkturret

    Goes to slippery accident first result.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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