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Vladimir Nabokov

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April 1, 1990 | CHARLES SOLOMON
It's hardly surprising that this collection of interviews, critical essays and letters to the editor lives up to its title: Vladimir Nabokov was never one to suffer fools, gladly or otherwise. With characteristic imperiousness, he insisted that interviewers submit their questions in writing and print his written replies verbatim. As a result, he appears both wittier and more articulate than anyone could be in a real conversation.
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August 14, 2013 | By Hector Tobar, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
In his 1955 novel “Lolita,” Vladimir Nabokov gave us some of the most vivid and visual prose writing that the English language has ever known. It comes as little surprise, therefore, to learn that he had some very precise ideas about what the cover of his novel should look like. “I want pure colors, melting clouds, accurately drawn details, a sunburst above a receding road with the light reflected in furrows and ruts, after rain. And no girls,” Nabokov wrote, in a letter quoted in a new book out this month, “Lolita -- The Story of a Cover Girl: Vladimir Nabokov's Novel in Art and Design,” edited by John Bertram and Yuri Leving, for Print Books . Nabokov continued: “Who would be capable of creating a romantic, delicately drawn, non-Freudian and non-juvenile, picture for LOLITA (a dissolving remoteness, a soft American landscape, a nostalgic highway -- that sort of thing)
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April 29, 1990 | CHARLES SOLOMON
A brilliant and challenging masterpiece by a magician of language, Vladimir Nabokov's convoluted story of a love "troubled by incest" that binds two generations of an eccentric family is also an innocent tale of childish affection and a meditation on the nature of time. (At the end of Part IV, young Ada muses precociously: "We can know the time, we can know a time. But we can never know Time."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2012 | Staff and Wire Reports
Dmitri Nabokov, the only child of acclaimed novelist Vladimir Nabokov who helped protect and translate his father's work while pursuing careers as an opera singer and race car driver, has died. He was 77. The younger Nabokov died Wednesday at a hospital in Vevey, Switzerland, after a long illness, said literary agent Andrew Wylie. Dmitri spent much of his life trying to carve a life away from the shadow of his father, considered one of the premier writers of the 20th century for such books as "Lolita" and "Pale Fire.
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December 24, 1989 | CHARLES SOLOMON
Vladimir Nabokov's first novel, set amid the Russian emigre community in Berlin during the '20s, only hints at the brilliance of his future works. Lev Ganin's nostalgic love for the unseen title character ends with a typically ironic twist, and his recollections of a juvenile romance amid the sylvan beauties of a vast Russian country estate prefigure the delicate passions of "Ada." But at 27, Nabokov did not yet command the shimmering, recherche, multileveled style of his mature novels.
BOOKS
February 4, 1996 | Tatyana Tolstaya, Tatyana Tolstaya is an associate professor of English at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Her most recent book is a short story collection, "Sleepwalker in a Fog" (Vintage, 1993). This article was translated from the Russian by Jamey Gambrell
In the winter of 1925, the young Vladimir Nabokov, writing under the pseudonym "Sirin," published a story called "Christmas" in an emigre newspaper in Berlin. In the story, a father overwhelmed by grief after the death of his son arrives at his estate to bury the young man. The scene is set: winter, cold, the dead beauty of the blinding landscape.
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December 29, 1996 | TATYANA TOLSTAYA
These 65 stories by Vladimir Nabokov, which his son gathered together in one volume for the first time, bring the reader closer to [his] magic. Happiness is infectious--everyone who reads this book will feel it. Even the saddest, most tragic stories are written so that the reader is left with the distinct foretaste of happiness, as if happiness were the genuine lining, the inside of being, which shines through the gloomy patchwork of reality. Nabokov might be considered "lucky."
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September 28, 1986 | Roberta Smoodin, Smoodin's most recent novel is "Inventing Ivanov" (Atheneum)
Given the fact that Vladimir Nabokov, the most private and mendacious of great writers, designated in his will that his personal papers and letters could not be made public until 75 years after the deaths of his wife and son, "VN: The Life and Art of Vladimir Nabokov" by Andrew Field is certainly the most exhaustive and revealing biography of the writer we will see until well into the next century.
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September 28, 1986 | Reviewed by Peter Heinegg, Heinegg, a critic and teacher of comparative literature, has translated and written an introduction to Tolstoy's "A Confession."
"The Enchanter" is a dark, agonized, involuted novella (55 typewritten pages in the original) that Vladimir Nabokov wrote in 1939, the final work of Russian fiction he would produce. The next year, he emigrated to America, and some time after that, he felt so dissatisfied with this "first little throb of 'Lolita' " that he destroyed the manuscript.
BOOKS
November 11, 1990 | Jay Parini, Parini, a poet and novelist, teaches at Middlebury College in Vermont. His latest novel is "The Last Station" (Henry Holt), a fictionalized account of Leo Tolstoy's final year. and
When Vladimir Nabokov died in 1977, the English-speaking world lost one of its most daring and accomplished writers--a novelist of supreme gifts who never tired of pushing in all directions to test the limits of his craft. If Nabokov had written only his English novels, from "The Real Life of Sebastian Knight," "Lolita," "Pale Fire" and "Pnin" through "Ada" and "Transparent Things," he still would have earned his place in the Pantheon.
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May 1, 2011 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
The Tragedy of Arthur A Novel Arthur Phillips Random House: 368 pp., $26 First, the MacGuffin: Arthur Phillips' fifth novel, "The Tragedy of Arthur," is built around a full-length, five-act Shakespeare play, "The Most Excellent and Tragical Historie of Arthur, King of Britain," composed (or, in the conceit of the novel, "discovered") by Phillips himself. It's a bravura strategy, relying on his ability to inhabit the rhythms, "the feeling of Shakespeare … it's like a fingerprint.
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March 20, 2011 | By Susan Salter Reynolds, For the Los Angeles Times
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe Gayle Tzemach Lemmon Harper: 288 pp., $24.99 Kamela Sediqi was not yet 20 when the Taliban took over in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1996. When her father, a military man under former strongman Najibullah (who was killed by the Taliban), moved out of Kabul, he left Sediqi in charge of her sisters and younger brother. The Taliban issued their edicts: Women were to stay at home, they were not permitted to work, and they were forced to wear the face-covering chadri in public.
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March 28, 2010 | By Christopher Sorrentino
After J.D. Salinger died in January, speculation began anew about the possibility that his New Hampshire study might be packed with 45 years' worth of unpublished writings, the fruit of his extraordinary reticence. The question of whether such work should be published is in the hands of his heirs and executors, and I don't envy them. New work by the dead -- from Vladimir Nabokov to Ralph Ellison -- appears regularly, almost always raising familiar questions: Is this what the writer wanted?
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November 15, 2009 | James Marcus
In the fall of 1976, a newspaper contacted Vladimir Nabokov in his Swiss refuge and asked him which books he had recently read. He responded with three typical titles: Dante's "Inferno" (in Charles Singleton's deliciously literal translation), a big, fat book about butterflies and his own work-in-progress, "The Original of Laura." The latter project had preoccupied him over the summer, despite a serious illness. It was, he told his correspondent, "completed in my mind." The revisions went on while he was confined to a hospital bed, a febrile process he describes in some detail in his "Selected Letters": "I must have gone through it some fifty times and in my diurnal delirium kept reading it aloud to a small dream audience in a walled garden.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 19, 2009 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Lee Solters, 89, a longtime publicist who worked with some of the biggest names of Broadway and Hollywood, died Monday of natural causes at his home in West Hollywood, according to Jerry Digney, his partner in the public relations firm of Solters & Digney.
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December 21, 2008 | Alexander Theroux, Theroux is the author, most recently, of "Laura Warholic: Or, The Sexual Intellectual."
Verses and Versions Three Centuries of Russian Poetry Selected and translated by Vladimir Nabokov Harcourt: 442 pp., $40 The only true translation is a literal one. Vladimir Nabokov's repetition of this truth became one of his many commandments. By literal, he means the strict rendering -- as closely as associative and syntactical capacities of the "into" language will allow -- of the poem's exact contextual meaning in the "from" language.
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August 13, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Vladimir Nabokov's son says he will publish the Russian author's last manuscript despite the writer's dying request that it be burned. Dimitri Nabokov says in an interview with the German edition of Vanity Fair that his father must have wanted the work published or he would have destroyed it himself. The work titled "The Original Laura" was left behind on 138 notecards when the author died in 1977. He asked his wife, Vera, to burn the work. She never did. His 74-year-old son says the work is scheduled for release in September.
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