By Vladimir Nabokov
Converse, reminiscence, first released in 1951 as Conclusive Evidence after which assiduously revised in 1966, is a sublime and wealthy evocation of Nabokov's existence and occasions, at the same time it bargains incisive insights into his significant works, together with Lolita, Pnin, Despair, The Gift, The genuine lifetime of Sebastian Knight, and The Defense.
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Extra info for Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited
They have been drowsy and abandoned on weekday mornings, and extremely hot, unlike the glacial haze and its purple solar that, like a flushed moon, hung within the japanese home windows. There we might search the quiet again rooms, the stopgap mythologies no one checked out, the etchings, the medals, the paleographic goods, the tale of Printing—poor such things as that. our greatest locate, i feel, used to be a small room the place brooms and ladders have been stored; yet a batch of empty frames that unexpectedly began to slide and topple in the dead of night attracted an inquisitive paintings lover, and we fled. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg’s Louvre, provided great nooks, particularly in a definite corridor at the floor flooring, between cupboards with scarabs, at the back of the sarcophagus of Nana, excessive priest of Ptah. within the Russian Museum of Emperor Alexander III, halls (Nos. 30 and 31, in its northeastern corner), harboring repellently educational work through Shishkin (“Clearing in a Pine Forest”) and by way of Harlamov (“Head of a tender Gypsy”), provided a little privateness due to a few tall stands with drawings—until a foul-mouthed veteran of the Turkish crusade threatened to name the police. So from those nice museums we graduated to smaller ones, akin to the Suvorov, for example, the place I bear in mind a such a lot silent room jam-packed with outdated armor and tapestries, and torn silk banners, with a number of bewigged, seriously booted dummies in eco-friendly uniforms status shield over us. yet at any place we went, consistently, after a couple of visits, this or that hoary, blear-eyed, felt-soled attendant might develop suspicious and we might need to move our furtive frenzy elsewhere—to the Pedagogical Museum, to the Museum of courtroom Carriages, or to a tiny museum of outdated maps, which guidebooks don't even list—and then out back into the chilly, into a few lane of serious gates and eco-friendly lions with jewelry of their jaws, into the stylized snowscape of the “Art World,” Mir Iskusstva—Dobuzhinski, Alexandre Benois—so expensive to me in these days. On overdue afternoons, we received into the final row of seats in a single of the 2 motion picture theatres (the Parisiana and the Piccadilly) on Nevski street. The paintings was once progressing. Sea waves have been tinted a sickly blue and as they rode in and burst into foam opposed to a black, remembered rock (Rocher de los angeles Vierge, Biarritz—funny, i presumed, to work out back the seashore of my cosmopolitan childhood), there has been a unique laptop that imitated the sound of the surf, creating a type of washy sleek that by no means rather controlled to prevent brief with the scene yet for 3 or 4 seconds followed the following feature—a brisk funeral, say, or shabby prisoners of struggle with their dapper captors. As frequently as no longer, the identify of the most photo was once a citation from a few renowned poem or track and may be really long-winded, akin to The Chrysanthemums Blossom not more within the backyard or Her center was once a Toy in His palms and prefer a Toy It obtained damaged. woman stars had low foreheads, very good eyebrows, lavishly shaded eyes. the favourite actor of the day was once Mozzhuhin. One recognized director had obtained within the Moscow geographical region a white-pillared mansion (not in contrast to that of my uncle), and it seemed in the entire images he made.