Nabokov V. Speak, Memory

Nabokov’s autobiography is like no other. Having lost his childhood and youth twice over, through ageing and exile, the author views the conventional memoir through a subtle kaleidoscope of shifting temporal and spatial perspectives which transform it into a poetic reverie on the past as another country. Speak, Memory evokes a vanished world – a world of great houses and idyllic country estates where Nabokov grew up, in the last years of Tsarist Russia, the favourite son of liberal, cultured and wealthy parents; a world doomed to be swept away by the Bolshevik Revolution. It is the unique story of a great writer’s early life – his homes, his family, his habits and his passions – told in the mercurial, ironic, tender style of his greatest novels.


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