Monday, April 29, 2013

Book: Cloud, Castle, Lake by Vladimir Nabokov

Well, I have given the famed Vladimir Nabokov a try and have found his work not to my taste. The short stories in this collection were deliberately miserable and while the sentences were nicely crafted, the stories themselves don't lead anywhere particularly interesting. Russian Beauty stands out for its terrible, cheaply written ending. Razor is good enough. The title story, Cloud, Castle, Lake has hope but by the end it is dashed.

Am I missing something? Perhaps. A quick Google search reveals layers of analysis that passed this reader by:

"It is well known that Nabokov's short story "Cloud, Castle, Lake" abounds in allusions to Tiutchev's lyrics, functioning as its metatextual "re-reading." The article takes its departure from calling attention to an unexplored Tiutchevian allusion in the story—the image of "the fine hair of a spiderweb," the pivotal image of Tiutchev's famous nature lyric "There is in early autumn …"

My only response to this is "Whatcha talkin' about, Willis?"

*  Avoid at all costs. Never again Nabokov, never ever again.

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