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Strong Opinions [NOOK Book]

Overview

In this collection of interviews, articles, and editorials, Nabokov ranges over his life, art, education, politics, literature, movies, and modern times, among other subjects.  Strong Opinions offers his trenchant, witty, and always engaging views on everything from the Russian Revolution to the correct pronunciation of Lolita.


From the Trade Paperback edition. ...
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Strong Opinions

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Overview

In this collection of interviews, articles, and editorials, Nabokov ranges over his life, art, education, politics, literature, movies, and modern times, among other subjects.  Strong Opinions offers his trenchant, witty, and always engaging views on everything from the Russian Revolution to the correct pronunciation of Lolita.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

In this collection of interviews, articles and editorials, the author discusses art, education, politics, literature, movies, and his own life.

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What People Are Saying

John Updike
Navakov writes prose the only way it should be written, that is, ecstatically.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307788078
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/16/2011
  • Series: Vintage International
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 922,989
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Vladimir Nabokov
Readers of Vladimir Nabokov's books might be slightly uncomfortable with them, were they not so awe-inspiring. Nabokov had a penchant for writing about the tragic and the taboo; but his erudite, inventive approach to narration -- buttressed by his formidable academic and cultural intellect -- made him a literary legend.

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.

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    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

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 3, 2011

    Painfully funny, and incredibly insightful

    I would recommend this to anyone, whether you like Nabokov or not. It's a sort of scapbook of interviews, essays, articles, and other such stuff. Basically, one of the great genuises of world literature speaks his mind on all kinds of topics, from the trivial to the profound. Nabokov's deadpan wit is scathing and absolutely hilarious in regards to Freud, modern art, fashionable Russion writers, "poetic" translations, symbolism in literary analysis, modern poetry, and all manner of sacred cows. He is perhaps at his funniest when actually critiquing his poor interviewers for their innocent preconceptions of words like "reality", or "conformity". His mind is a treasure-trove of the weird, disturbing, and absurd. Bizzare facts about tapeworms and the torture of exotic songbirds are placed alongside lepidoptera and literature. Simply one of the best books of essays ever compiled.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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