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Pnin (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) Paperback – 24 Apr 1997

3 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Paperback, 24 Apr 1997
£999.11 £13.37

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; Revised edition edition (24 April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140188215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140188219
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 0.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,717,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Pnin is the most accessible and easily rewarding of Nabokov's novels. It is the tragic tale of an emigre academic coming to terms with his new life in the United States and with his own past. Nabokov moved to the United States in 1939, having established a glowing reputation for his Russian masterpieces in small emigre circles. His move meant abandoning his beloved Russian and beginning again as an American writer - his success is obvious. Pnin was an early foray, originally serialized in 'The New Yorker'. Unlike his author, Pnin finds the transition to American life impossible - he finds himself isolated and increasingly lonely. Although we laugh at Pnin's constant blunders, we quickly begin to love his noble and solitary quest, never letting his own difficulties get in the way of generosity and compassion. Yet, all is not what it seems ... a careful re-reading reveals a subtle relationship between author and reader and, I think, tells us a lot about Nabokov's view of himself, beneath the polished and erudite veneer.
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By A Customer on 21 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
I am sorry to say I was not impressed by Pnin. We are encouraged to deride this unfortunate individual struggling to comprehend his new surroundings. Nabokov became famous in literary circles for his arrogance and dismissive views of the work of others and this is the side of him we see manifested in Pnin. Granted, the book is not badly written and I was amused at clever word-play and verbal trickery. Beyond this, however, Nabokov succumbs to his own worst instincts and panders to those of the reader. After all, in today's society the privacy of the soulful individual is paramount and this is what Nabokov betrays in his depiction of the only thinly fictional hero.
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