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I finished Transparent Things by him today.This Russian-born writer (who left his homeland when he was 18 and later lived in England, Germany, USA and Switzerland) is one of my favourite authors.His über writing style is surely the most special feature about his works.Colourful, free-flowing, sophisticated...the craftsmanship in his texts is immense.But of course there's much more than just the style.It's the perceptivity of boundaries in human life.The compassion and understanding. Reflecting and explaining the mystery of time.The search of child-like innocence.Despair and elation.Absurdity of death.

From his many good creations I would especially reccommend Invitation to a Beheading, which is one of the best books I've ever read.
 

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i read lolita.
and frankly, after this book, i never find in another writer all i felt with this him.
the way he put you in the mind of his characters is completly amazing and disturbing.
this guy had a talent out norme.
 

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im reading alot of his articles on his viewpoints on

tolstoy, dostoyevski and pushkin


intresting guy...any ideas where i can get MORE links to his thoughs on these guys
 

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I read Pale Fire, in which he wrote a poem by a made-up author and then wrote a critical edition of this poem by a made-up critic. Once you figure out what the hell is going on, it's hilarious.
 

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While Nabokov might be known as the guy what wrote that book about the pedophile amongst some people (or as the Goalie for the San Jose Sharks amongst some others), it is a shame if that's all he is known as. If you want to talk STYLE, you must start with Nabokov. What I mean is, when discussing the concept of literary style with someone who has no idea what that is, the easiest way to describe it would be just to have them read something by Nabokov and say (lighting your cigarette), "now that's style!" Quite possibly the finest writer ever (depending upon your tastes. For me yes.) and a master linguist as well. I have heard some people say that he doesn't FEEL as much as, say, a Tolstoy, but I disagree. And such a stylist...

RIO
 

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yes rio, there is writers which got style or very imaginative, but nabokov is special, because when you read him, you can feel how intelligent this guy was. i mean, each word, each sentence is a master piece in itself.
 

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also he was able to exprim himself in 3 languages (for what i know).
i think it's because he was russian, seems the russian language is very rich.
 

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mali said:
i read lolita.
and frankly, after this book, i never find in another writer all i felt with this him.
the way he put you in the mind of his characters is completly amazing and disturbing.
this guy had a talent out norme.
I'm in Part Two of Lolita. It's amazing how I have found myself at times sympathizing for H.H. And his style... gorgeous writing.
 

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Phoenix said:
I read Pale Fire, in which he wrote a poem by a made-up author and then wrote a critical edition of this poem by a made-up critic. Once you figure out what the hell is going on, it's hilarious.
I bought that last year but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I'm glad you gave me that hint or I'd probably be scratching my head for a few weeks after.
 

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I'm bumping this because I am reading Lolita for the second time in 12 months. It's simply entrancing. I'm reaching the end as he searches for Quilty. The book still confounds me. It is so open to interpretation, everything is gray and nothing is black and white. When Dolores reminds Humbert of the Enchanted Hunters "remember, where you raped me?", and it is impossible to tell if she is being sincere or ironic, especially the deeper into the story Humbert goes (her sobbing in the night as soon as I feigned sleep), to when they meet again at the Schiller residence, where she treats him lovingly, referring to him as honey and seemingly bearing little grudge (you were a good father, in some ways). You cannot tell if you should sympathise with Humbert or Dolores, neither or both. Is Humbert a tyrant? Did Dolores ever seduce him or is that his own insanity suggesting such a thing?

Any input from any of you I'd appreciate. I do not discuss literature often, but this is one that makes me want to talk. There's only one person IRL who I'd enjoy discussing this with, but she lives in London. My flatmate has read it and just brushed me aside, quite frustratingly for somebody who has a masters in English Literature.
 

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There is not much to say as definitive, considering Nabokov liked to fire up the doubts when questioned about the grey areas you mention. At anything, I just recall he being very loud about HH's lack of character and sincerity and that Lolita is deff. a victim in this book. He is very good at this kind of narrative, the very good Pale Fire that Phoenix mention before is another one that he does using this style.
 

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humbert is a predator in this book. his only excuse would be his obsessional love for lolita which makes of him a pathetique guy.
 

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He does not really love her, the entire idea is a bit of Nabokov mockery of Freud and freudian models and psychanalysis. He hated them and more than once mocked that he could easily trick them.
 

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I'm not sure I agree with that. Its hard to understand if he loves her or not. Many times I believe he was besotted. It makes it heartbreaking to read how she loved Quilty more. He devoted his existence to her, she did not to him (although who could to a tyrant I'd hear you counter). However if he loved her so, how could he torture and subvert her so much? I think Dolores loved the thrill of seducing him, clearly against her mother's wishes. As you say it is a parody of Freud almost. Lolita begins by making herself the dominant female in the household by ensuring HH wants her as opposed to Charlotte. However the novelty clearly wears off, and she never loved him as she did with Quilty. lili is right that he is a predator in the book but is he entirely dominant throughout the story? Was it not lolita who ran into his room to kiss him before leaving for camp? As he says "reader, I was not even her first lover!". Or is he taking advantage of a girl exploring her sexuality at an early stage, taking her into a world which she is not ready for (see the scene in the Enchanted Hunters where she perseveres out of sheer pride rather than anything else). But again she is said to have been deflowered by Quilty at 10.
 
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