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The Collected Stories (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) Paperback – 30 Oct 1997

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Paperback, 30 Oct 1997

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Product details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (30 Oct. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014118051X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141180519
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,369,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Nabokov household was trilingual, and 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. 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.

Product Description

About the Author

Vladimir Nabokov was born in 1899 in St Petersburg. He wrote his first literary works in Russian, but rose to international prominence as a masterly prose stylist for the novels he composed in English, most famously, Lolita. Between 1923 and 1940 he published novels, short stories, plays, poems and translations in the Russian language and established himself as one of the most outstanding Russian émigré writers. He died in 1977. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME on 23 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
This definitive collection of Nabokov's short stories, compiled & introduced by his son Dmitri, provides the ideal introduction to Nabokov's brilliant canon. The sixty-five stories generally stem from several seperate collections of Nabokov's shorts- A Russian Beauty (1973), Tyrants Destroyed (1975) & Details of a Sunset (1976). There are also short stories that stem from other sources, such as 'Nabokov's Dozen', an example being 'Cloud, Castle, Lake'. In addition to the covenient collection of the short stories in a good value package, there is also a brief preface by Dmitri Nabokov & notes on the various stories included.
There are too many stories to detail here- though it is interesting to note the many that were written as a Russian emigre in Berlin & Paris, prior to Nabokov's later destinations: the USA and Switzerland. Highlights include fantastic/SF-style story 'Terra Incognita', the tricky relations between art and life found in 'Lips to Lips' , the amusing 'An Affair of Honour' & the title story to Tyrants Destroyed. Along with the novella The Enchanter (a tryout for Lolita, sadly not included but referred to here) this book provides the ideal introduction to Nabokov, before reading his great books such as Despair, Bend Sinister, Pale Fire, Speak Memory, Pnin & Laughter in the Dark.
Nabokov's Collected Stories also rank alongside the great writers in this mode, such as James Joyce, Flannery O'Connor, JG Ballard, Philip K Dick, Raymond Carver, Richard Yates, DH Lawrence, Borges etc.
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English was Nabokov's 3rd or 4th language. Many of his original stories were written in Russian and French. His own life story is almost as amazing as some of his stories..... After the Russian revolution etcetc...... He travelled Europe and then to the U.S. This collection is stunning - in my opinion he is a genius, a word- smith the like I have never seen. I read and re-read his works. The stories can sometimes be outlined in a few lines but the way he weaves and observes a lake or a rain soaked street at night, or a train travelling through the mountains is sublime and almost spiritual. If you like a Mills and Boone book this probably isn't something you would like but if you love the English language (or words) then if you havnt read Nabokov before give it a try.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a very valuable book for any Nabokov reader. Indeed, a newcomer to the author would also find great pleasure in any one of this vast collection. As one reads further, one begins to see the emergence of the themes dealt with in Nabokov's later novels. In particular, the early stories, written in Berlin in the 1920s, reveal the beginnings of the fascination with memories and the meaning of nostalgia dealt with in 'Lolita' and 'Ada'. These are the types of stories that enter the mind to become memories independent of their source - memories of the imaginative experience. My favourites were 'The Aurelian' and 'Sounds'.
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