• Lettres à Véra

    Vladimir Nabokov

    • Fayard
    • 20 Septembre 2017

    Vladimir Nabokov et sa femme Véra se sont rencontrés en 1923, à Berlin, où leurs familles respectives avaient fui le pouvoir bolchevique. Tout au long du demi-siècle que dure leur mariage, ils ne sont séparés que rarement, mais alors il lui écrit chaque jour  : ainsi quand Véra part se soigner dans un sanatorium de la Forêt Noire, quand Vladimir rend visite à sa famille réfugiée à Prague, où quand Véra tarde à le rejoindre à Paris. Plus tard, ses conférences dans le Sud des États-Unis suscitent de nouvelles lettres. Dans toute cette correspondance, pour nous à sens unique - Véra ayant détruit ses propres lettres -,  on voit la passion de Nabokov pour sa femme, sa vie quotidienne dans le milieu de l'émigration russe à Berlin, les bouleversements auxquels tous deux sont confrontés dans leur vie matérielle et affective, le dénuement qui est le sien lors de ses débuts à Paris, l'intérêt croissant suscité par son oeuvre auprès des éditeurs et d'un public éclairé, le soutien indéfectible que lui apporte Véra.
    Ces lettres, outre ce qu'elles révèlent sur l'homme, nous font découvrir le laboratoire de   l'écrivain - son énergie créatrice, la pléthore de sujets qui surgissent et disparaissent, l'intensité de son travail - et on y reconnaît l'originalité de son style  : sa veine parodique, poétique, sa vivacité et ses jeux de mots.

  • La Vénitienne, Bonté, Le rasoir, Le voyageur et Musique. Cinq nouvelles écrites dans les années 1920 et qui, par leur force et leur beauté, confirment si besoin était que Vladimir Nabokov n'était pas seulement un grand maître du roman mais aussi un formidable nouvelliste. Dans ces nouvelles où l'on croise des artistes et des expatriés, il flotte un air de nostalgie et de haute poésie comme ce portrait de femme qui capte sur la surface de la toile le rêve d'un jeune homme trop amoureux.

  • Self-satisfied, delighting in the many fascinating quirks of his own personality, Hermann Hermann is perhaps not to be taken too seriously. But then a chance meeting with a man he believes to be his double reveals a frightening 'split' in Hermann's nature. With shattering immediacy, Nabokov takes us into a deranged world, one full of an impudent, startling humour, dominated by the egotistical and scornful figure of a murderer who thinks himself an artist.

  • In Berlin there lived a man called Albinus. He was rich, respectable and happy but one day he abandoned his wife for the sake of a youthful mistress he loved. He was not loved in return, however, and his life ended in disaster. The original Russian text of this novel was published in 1933.

  • Like Kafka's The Castle, Invitation to a Beheading embodies a vision of a bizarre and irrational world. In an unnamed dream country, the young man Cincinnatus C. is condemned to death by beheading for "gnostical turpitude." an imaginary crime that defies definition. Cincinnatus spends his last days in an absurd jail, where he is visited by chimerical jailers. an executioner who masquerades as a fellow prisoner, and by his in-laws. who lug their furniture with them into his cell. When Cincinnatus is led out to be executed. he simply wills his executioners out of existence: they disappear, along with the whole world they inhabit.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Vladimir Nabokov's early novel is the dazzling story of the coarse, strange yet oddly endearing chess-playing genius Luzhin. Discovering his prodigious gift in boyhood and rising to the rank of International Grandmaster, Luzhin develops a lyrical passion for chess that renders the real world a phantom. As he confronts the fiery, swift-swooping Italian Grandmaster Turati, he brings into play his carefully devised defence. Making masterly play of metaphor and imagery, The Luzhin Defense is the book that, of his early works, Nabokov felt 'contains and diffuses the greatest warmth'.

  • Spurred on by admiration for his novelist half-brother and irritation at the biography written about him by Mr Goodman ('his slapdash and very misleading book'), the narrator, V, sets out to record Sebastian Knight's life as he understands it. But buried amid the extensive quoting, digressions, seeming explanations and digs, Sebastian's erratic and troubled persona remains as elusive as ever.

    Nabokov's first novel written in English, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight is a nuanced, enigmatic potrayal of the conflict between the real and the unreal, and the futile quest for human truth.

  • Glory is the wryly ironic story of Martin Edelweiss, a twenty-two-year-old Russian émigré of no account, who is in love with a girl who refuses to marry him. Convinced that his life is about to be wasted and hoping to impress his love, he embarks on a "perilous, daredevil project"--an illegal attempt to re-enter the Soviet Union, from which he and his mother had fled in 1919. He succeeds--but at a terrible cost.

  • Vintage Readers are a perfect introduction to some of the greatest modern writers presented in attractive, accessible paperback editions.
    "It was Nabokov's gift to bring paradise wherever he alighted." --John Updike, The New York Review of Books Novelist, poet, critic, translator, and, above all, a peerless imaginer, Vladimir Nabokov was arguably the most dazzling prose stylist of the twentieth century. In novels like Lolita, Pale Fire, and Ada, or Ardor, he turned language into an instrument of ecstasy.
    Vintage Nabokov includes sections 1-10 of his most famous and controversial novel, Lolita; the stories "The Return of Chorb," "The Aurelian," "A Forgotten Poet," "Time and Ebb," "Signs and Symbols," "The Vane Sisters," and "Lance"; and chapter 12 from his memoir Speak, Memory.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Though we know Vladimir Nabokov as a brilliant novelist, his first love was poetry. This landmark collection brings together the best of his verse, including many pieces that have never before appeared in English.
    These poems span the whole of Nabokovs career, from the newly discovered Music, written in 1914, to the short, playful To Véra, composed in 1974. Many are newly translated by Dmitri Nabokov, including The University Poem, a sparkling novel in verse modeled on Pushkins Eugene Onegin that constitutes a significant new addition to Nabokovs oeuvre. Included too are such poems as Lilith, an early work which broaches the taboo theme revisited nearly forty years later in Lolita, and An Evening of Russian Poetry, a masterpiece in which Nabokov movingly mourns his lost language in the guise of a versified lecture on Russian delivered to college girls. The subjects range from the Russian Revolution to the American refrigerator, taking in on the way motel rooms, butterflies, ice-skating, love, desire, exile, loneliness, language, and poetry itself; and the poet whirls swiftly between the brilliantly painted facets of his genius, wearing masks that are, by turns, tender, demonic, sincere, self-parodying, shamanic, visionary, and ingeniously domestic.

  • From the writer who shocked and delighted the world with his novels Lolita, Pale Fire, and Ada, or Ardor, and so many others, comes a magnificent collection of stories. Written between the 1920s and 1950s, these sixty-five tales--eleven of which have been translated into English for the first time--display all the shades of Nabokov's imagination. They range from sprightly fables to bittersweet tales of loss, from claustrophobic exercises in horror to a connoisseur's samplings of the table of human folly. Read as a whole, The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov offers and intoxicating draft of the master's genius, his devious wit, and his ability to turn language into an instrument of ecstasy.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Anglais Pnin

    Vladimir Nabokov

    Professor Timofey Pnin, late of Tsarist Russia, is now precariously perched at the heart of an American campus. Battling with American life and language, Pnin must face great hazards in this new world: the ruination of his beautiful lumber-room-as-office; the removal of his teeth and the fitting of new ones; the search for a suitable boarding house; and the trials of taking the wrong train to deliver a lecture in a language he has yet to master.

    Part of a major new series of the works of Vladimir Nabokov, author of Lolita and Pale Fire, in Penguin Classics.

  • A man at his desk is interrupted by the appearance of a woodland elf in his room; the piano maestro Bachmann ends his career; a barber shaves the face of a man who once tortured him; a shy dreamer makes a deal with the Devil. In these sixty-five stories of magic and melancholy, Nabokov displays an astonishing range of inventiveness, with dazzling sleight of hand, fantastical fairy tales, intellectual games and enchanting glimpses into lives of ambiguity and loss.

    This landmark new collection brings together the best of the short stories of Vladimir Nabokov, one of the twentieth century's greatest writers and author of Lolita and Pale Fire.

    Part of a major new series of Vladimir Nabokov's work in Penguin Classics.

  • In Pale Fire Nabokov offers a cornucopia of deceptive pleasures: a 999-line poem by the reclusive genius John Shade; an adoring foreword and commentary by Shade's self-styled Boswell, Dr. Charles Kinbote; a darkly comic novel of suspense, literary idolatry and one-upmanship, and political intrigue.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Lev Ganin is a young officer sharing a boarding house in Berlin with a host of Russian émigrés. Alone in his room, he dreams of his first love, Mary. Awash with memories of youth and idyllic scenes of pre-Revolution Russia, Ganin becomes convinced that Mary is in fact the wife of a fellow-boarder, due to arrive at this very house soon. He longs for her arrival, when he can whisk her away and leave everything behind ...

  • The novel is the story of Dreyer, a wealthy and boisterous proprietor of a men's clothing emporium store. Ruddy, self-satisfied, and thoroughly masculine, he is perfectly repugnant to his exquisite but cold middle-class wife Martha. Attracted to his money but repelled by his oblivious passion, she longs for their nephew instead, the myopic Franz. Newly arrived in Berlin, Franz soon repays his uncle's condescension in his aunt's bed.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Morn, a masked king, rules over a realm to which he has restored order after a violent revolution. Secretly in love with Midia, the wife of a banished revolutionary, Morn finds himself facing renewed bloodshed and disaster when Midia's husband returns, provoking a duel and the return of chaos that Morn has fought so hard to prevent.

    The first major work and the only play of Vladimir Nabokov, author of Lolita and Pnin, The Tragedy of Mister Morn is translated and published in English here for the first time, and is a moving study of the elusiveness of happiness, the power of imagination and the eternal battle between truth and fantasy.

  • The Original of Laura is Vladimir Nabokov's final, incredible unfinished novel in fragments. Dr Philip Wild, a man of brilliance, wit, fortune and tremendous bulk, is used to suffering humiliations at the hands of his wife, the younger, slender, and rudely promiscuous Flora. But in a novel, a 'maddening masterpiece' documenting her infidelities, written by one of her lovers and given to the doctor, she appears as My Laura. Dishonoured, Wild still finds pleasure in life, by indulging in self-annihilation, beginning with the removal of his toes.

    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) was born 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.

    Dmitri Nabokov was Vladimir Nabokov's son.

  • Published two weeks after his seventieth birthday, Ada, or Ardor is one of Nabokov's greatest masterpieces, the glorious culmination of his career as a novelist.yes'>#160;yes'>#160;It tells a love story troubled by incest.yes'>#160;yes'>#160;But more: it

  • Over four hundred letters chronicle the author's career, recording his struggles in the publishing world, the battles over "Lolita," and his relationship with his wife.

  • Four plays and two essays on drama, written during Nabokov's émigré years before his writings in English earned him worldwide fame. Translated and with Introductions by Dmitri Nabokov.

  • For the first time in English, Vladimir Nabokovs earliest major work, written when he was only twenty-four: his only full-length play, introduced by Thomas Karshan and beautifully translated by Karshan and Anastasia Tolstoy.
    The Tragedy of Mister Morn was written in the winter of 1923­­1924, when Nabokov was completely unknown. The five-act play--the story of an incognito king whose love for the wife of a banished revolutionary brings on the chaos the king has fought to prevent--was never published in Nabokovs lifetime and lay in manuscript until it appeared in a Russian literary journal in 1997. It is an astonishingly precocious work, in exquisite verse, touching for the first time on what would become this great writers major themes: intense sexual desire and jealousy, the elusiveness of happiness, the power of the imagination, and the eternal battle between truth and fantasy. The play is Nabokovs major response to the Russian Revolution, which he had lived through, but it approaches the events of 1917 above all through the prism of Shakespearean tragedy.

  • Nabokov begins his Strong Opinions: 'I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child.' In the interviews collected here - covering everything from his own burgeoning literary celebrity to Kubrick's Lolita to lepidoptery - he is never casual or off-guard. Instead he insisted on receiving questions in advance and always carefully composed his responses.

    Keen to dismiss those who fail to understand his work and happy to butcher those sacred cows of the literary canon he dislikes, Nabokov is much too entertaining to be infuriating, and these interviews, letters and articles are as engaging, challenging and caustic as anything he ever wrote.

    Part of a major new series of the works of Vladimir Nabokov, author of Lolita and Pale Fire, in Penguin Classics.

empty