Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Review: Speak, Memory

"It is probably true, as some have argued, that sympathy for Leninism on the part of English and American liberal opinion in the twenties was swung by consideration of home politics. But it was also due to simple misinformation"

Title: Speak, Memory
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
Year: 1967
Pages: 251

Speak, Memory is Nabokov’s memoir. I don’t like being negative about him, again, because I still feel he was a great author, but yet again, this book was not enjoyable for me. It was well written, that’s for sure, and most of the stories were interesting as well: you find out many themes which reoccur in his books, were drawn from his own life. But there was something that bothered me throughout the novel to the extent that I genuinely could not appreciate it. As a memoir at least.

As I’d been studying Nabokov for a while when I read this, I felt the need to distrust him. I felt that probably nothing was true anyway. An author, in most his novels, is mysterious, needs to be figured out, and is often a persona of Nabokov himself. While I know now, that I shouldn’t have approached this novel with such caution, it held me back constantly.

Just know that, if you’re going to read this book, it is actually quite trustworthy. Just read it as a memoir, but keep in mind that memoires are objective – perhaps more so when it’s one written by Nabokov.  

No comments:

Post a Comment