Friday, July 30, 2010

Vladimir Nabokov's Speak, Memory

I am back from Brazil! The team I went with arrived safely back in the U.S.A. and we are all now slowly but surely getting back into our regular routine. I am not quite there yet, and I knew I wouldn’t be, which is why I scheduled this week to be a simple book review on a book that is not on the list at all, but something I chose to read on my own. However, even though Speak, Memory is not on the M.A. list, hopefully I can gain some insights from it that will help me better understand Pale Fire, the optional work by the same author.

Speak, Memory is very interesting, although a little bit dull at times. I wish Nabokov spent more time talking about his ability to see sounds and clearly attribute specific colors and textures to certain letter sounds. The narrative voice is intriguing as the author wrote the book as if he was telling the story to his wife, Vera. It isn’t something the reader is always aware of, but it crops up as a nice surprise at times. If you have read any of Nabokov’s other works, I do recommend Speak, Memory for further insights into this fascinating Russian writer. I am glad I read it before I dove into Pale Fire, which is proving to be interesting in its own way.

So as promised, next week I will cover Pale Fire. What is really great about this work is that it will be covered in the course I am taking this Fall, so there will be an additional post with helpful notes from my professor in the future. We will get an expert’s opinion, and see how far off I was. It should be enlightening.

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