Speak, Memory

by Vladimir Nabokov

Otherworldy memoir.

Speak, Memory

I seldom read fiction, so have not read any of Nabokov's novels, excellent though, I am assured, they are. But Speak, Memory, Nabokov's (factual) memoir of his childhood and youth in a rich Russian family, and the early days following his emigration to the West after the defeat of the White Army in the Russian Civil War, kept coming up again and again in the books and websites that I read; so I thought it was about time that I read it. And a damn fine read it turned out to be.

The book's inspired title sums up Nabokov's approach to his memoir: searching the depths of his memory for the facts, and admitting when he is unsure. The book was written in immaculate, precise English, even though English was not Nabokov's native tongue. I assume that this accounts for the text's slightly otherworldly nature, which I enjoyed immensely.

Very good indeed.

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