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The secret history of Vladimir Nabokov

Author: Andrea Pitzer
Publisher: New York : Pegasus Books : Distributed by W.W. Norton & Co., [2013] ©2013
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Argues that the famous Russian-American novelist, accused of turning a blind eye to the horrors of history, hid this disturbing information within his fiction.
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Genre/Form: Biography
Criticism, interpretation, etc
Biografieèen (vorm)
Named Person: Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov; Vladimir Nabokov; Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov; Nabokov, Familie; Vladimir D Nabokov; Vladimir Nabokov
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Andrea Pitzer
ISBN: 9781605984117 1605984116 9781605986173 1605986178
OCLC Number: 785079139
Description: xv, 432 pages, [16] pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Waiting for Solzhenitsyn --
Childhood --
War --
Exile --
Aftermath --
Descent --
Purgatory --
America --
After the war --
Lolita --
Fame --
Pale fire --
Speak, memory --
Waiting for Solzhenitsyn --
Coda.
Responsibility: Andrea Pitzer.

Abstract:

Argues that the famous Russian-American novelist, accused of turning a blind eye to the horrors of history, hid this disturbing information within his fiction.

"Novelist Vladimir Nabokov witnessed the horrors of his century, escaping Revolutionary Russia then Germany under Hitler, and fleeing France with his Jewish wife and son just weeks before Paris fell to the Nazis. He repeatedly faced accusations of turning a blind eye to human suffering to write artful tales of depravity. But does one of the greatest writers in the English language really deserve the label of amoral aesthete bestowed on him by so many critics? Using information from newly-declassified intelligence files and recovered military history, journalist Andrea Pitzer argues that far from being a proponent of art for art's sake, Vladimir Nabokov managed to hide disturbing history in his fiction--history that has gone unnoticed for decades. Nabokov emerges as a kind of documentary conjurer, spending the most productive decades of his career recording a saga of forgotten concentration camps and searing bigotry, from World War I to the Gulag and the Holocaust. Lolita surrenders Humbert Humbert's secret identity, and reveals a Nabokov appalled by American anti-Semitism. The lunatic narrator of Pale Fire recalls Russian tragedies that once haunted the world. From Tsarist courts to Nazi film sets, from CIA front organizations to wartime Casablanca, the story of Nabokov's family is the story of his century--and both are woven inextricably into his fiction"--Publisher's description.

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