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Speak, Memory
Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited | Vladimir Nabokov
'Speak, memory', said Vladimir Nabokov. And immediately there came flooding back to him a host of enchanting recollections - of his comfortable childhood and adolescence, of his rich, liberal-minded father, his beautiful mother, an army of relations and family hangers-on and of grand old houses in St Petersburg and the surrounding countryside in pre-Revolutionary Russia. Young love, butterflies, tutors and a multitude of other themes thread together to weave an autobiography, which is itself a work of art.Part of a major new series of the works of Vladimir Nabokov, author of Lolita and Pale Fire, in Penguin Classics.
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SolaRaynor
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“Why did we feel so cheerful when it rained?“ --Vladimir Nabokov, quoting a letter from Tamara in “Speak, Memory“.

Andrew65 Love this picture. 5mo
SolaRaynor @Andrew65 Thank you :) It's the view of the Spokane River from the Mission Street Bridge in Spokane, Washington :) 5mo
36 likes2 comments
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Graywacke
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#12Booksof2021
#August

I‘m glad I read these, but actually neither was amazing. August was kind of a lame reading month for me, compared to the rest of the year.

Andrew65 For me August was the best reading month. 🤣 6mo
Graywacke @Andrew65 we balanced the world‘s reading joy. 🙂 6mo
44 likes2 comments
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SolaRaynor
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“I confess I do not believe in time.“ --Vladimir Nabokov, “Speak, Memory“.

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SolaRaynor
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“Very lovely, very lonesome. But what am I doing in this stereoscopic dreamland? How did I get here?“ --Vladimir Nabokov, “Speak, Memory“.

cant_i'm_booked Lovely, lovely quote! 6mo
SolaRaynor @cant_i'm_booked There are so many in this memoir!!! 6mo
31 likes2 comments
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SolaRaynor
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Pickpick

I read this last summer and now I'm going through it more slowly, noting passages that are especially moving. Nabokov describes his childhood. His life is upended as his family loses almost everything in the Russian Revolution.

27 likes2 stack adds
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Graywacke
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Pickpick

Self-indulgent? Evocative? Turgid? This was mainly, for me, impenetrable. I learned a lot about the natural magic of well-maintained wealthy Russia summer estates, of hunting butterflies, of the awkwardness of governesses and the eccentric personal tutors. But, looking for something I could pin down, a thought, a decision, an identity, I was grasping at fog. Within his heavy slow difficult atmospheric construction, he reveals nothing.

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Graywacke
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“Beyond the park, above streaming fields, a rainbow slipped into view; the fields ended in the notched dark border of a remote fir wood; part of the rainbow went across it, and that section of the forest edge shimmered most magically through the pale green and pink of the iridescent veil drawn before it: a tenderness and a glory that made poor relatives of the rhomboidal, colored reflections which the return of the sun had brought forth on …👇👇

Graywacke …the pavilion floor.”

Just a lazy Saturday. This has gotten more readable lately, and here he just went all gorgeous prose remembering the sun coming out after a specific childhood summer thunderstorm waited out in an isolated pavilion, in chapter eleven.
(edited) 11mo
Graywacke It‘s worth continuing:

“A moment later my first poem began. What touched it off? I think I know. Without any wind blowing, the sheer weight of a raindrop, shining in parasitic luxury on a cordate leaf, caused its tip to dip, and what looked like a globule of quicksilver performed a sudden glissando down the center vein, and then, having shed its bright load, the relieved leaf unbent. Tip, leaf, dip, relief—the instant it all took to 👇
11mo
Graywacke happen seemed to me not so much a fraction of time as a fissure in it, a missed heartbeat, which was refunded at once by a patter of rhymes: I say "patter" intentionally, for when a gust of wind did come, the trees would briskly start to drip all together in as crude an imitation of the recent downpour as the stanza I was already muttering resembled the shock of wonder I had experienced when for a moment heart and leaf had been one.” 11mo
LitStephanie I was just reading about this memoir in The Art of Memoir. It is beautiful, evocative writing, but I get impatient with that much detailed imagery. 11mo
Graywacke @LitStephanie yes. This is not typical of the book. Actually, after all his convoluted writing through about the first half of this book, this description comes across as nice, clean and straightforward. 🙂 11mo
28 likes5 comments
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Graywacke
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Been trying to make some way through this. I don‘t know exactly how he managed to do it, but VN made this really difficult to read. I have to go slow, figure out implications of lots of stuff and remember it for the next paragraph or eventual end of the sentence. Brain worried about itself. Well, still early on.

DivineDiana I am confident that your brain is fine. 🙂 11mo
Graywacke @DivineDiana thanks. Appreciate the affirmation! It does seem ok after I close the book. ☺️ 11mo
43 likes2 comments
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Yahui07
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Mehso-so

This is a challenging book for me probably due to the writing style and my lack of knowledge of Russian history and this author. But I did enjoy the portion related to the author‘s father and the Russian history.

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Billypar
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#MayBeNow
The three most important people I met in the past decade were my fiancee, niece, and nephew. I'm not a huge TV fan, but Netflix was pretty damn influential so I have four of my favorite shows listed (haven't seen Dead to Me Season 2 yet, but soon..). Axe throwing was the only trend I could come up with. And I think it was an unusually strong decade for horror films so I have my ten favorites of those listed.
@Cinfhen @BarbaraBB

Megabooks I love black mirror! 2y
BarbaraBB Such a great collage! You look happy and I will check out your horror top-10 😱😉 2y
Centique Lovely photos of you and your fiancée and the gorgeous babies ? 2y
See All 16 Comments
Cinfhen Axe throwing!! Haven‘t tried it yet 🤣😂and obviously Netflix!!! Love the photos ♥️Thanks for sharing 2y
Velvetfur Great photos! I love the one of you and your fiancee, so sweet 🙂 2y
Billypar @Megabooks It's so good - they come up with so many different terrifying possibilities for the future of technology. 2y
Billypar @BarbaraBB Thanks! Hope you enjoy the horror flicks 😨 2y
Billypar @Cinfhen It's such a funny activity to suddenly become so popular! 😁 2y
Cinfhen We humans are a very strange breed 😜 2y
merelybookish Sweet pics. Do you guys have a wedding date set? 2y
Billypar @merelybookish Nope: we met in 2011 and have been engaged since 2015. We had been planning some ideas before covid hit but weren't settled on a plan. Luckily neither of us are in a rush! 2y
merelybookish @Billypar Yes no rush! I feel bad for all the people who have/had weddings planned. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Fun collage!! The second season of Dead to Me is great. 😎 2y
Billypar @merelybookish Me too - it's so sad to have to delay such a significant event indefinitely after making all the preparations. 2y
Billypar @BarbaraTheBibliophage Good to know - Season 1 is a tough act to follow! 2y
42 likes16 comments
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GeekGirlOnAQuest
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quirkyreader
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Scores from this past week. I found the Nabokov at work and Red Sparrow at a yard sale.

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arubabookwoman
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Does anyone else have dreams set in the land of their childhood?

“...the odd fact that whenever possible the scenery of our infancy is used by an economically minded producer as a ready-made setting for our adult dreams....”

Crazeedi Yes I'm back in my childhood home in many of my dreams 4y
bnp Love this picture! 4y
overtheedge I find myself at my Gma's house, in dreams. It was a special place for me. 4y
23 likes1 stack add3 comments
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arubabookwoman
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#butterfly

“The older the man, the queerer he looks with a butterfly net in his hand.”
Vladimir Nabokov, lifelong butterfly collector, not to mention esteemed writer, in his memoir, #SpeakMemory.

19 likes1 stack add
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britt_brooke
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arubabookwoman
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With The Burning Plain I have completed my 1950 TBR reading, so on to 1951. #Speak Memory is my first 1951 read, and I‘m about 100 pages in. Isn‘t the cover, a reproduction of a painting by one of my favorite artists, PAUL Klee, lovely

bnp That is a lovely cover. 4y
Suet624 It‘s beautiful! 4y
16 likes2 comments
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Grrlbrarian
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Mehso-so

Still not sure how I feel about this memoir from Vladimir Nabokov. It started as a series of essays about his life from birth in 1899 to 1940; it still feels disjointed though it has been chronologically (re)arranged. The topics are wide-ranging, with the most engrossing bits in his privileged childhood in Tsarist Russia. The narrative lags at times, but - classic Nabokov - the language is absolutely beautiful.

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Nutmegnc
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THE cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.

18 likes3 stack adds1 comment
review
Taylor
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Pickpick

Really interesting, lovely reminiscences. I'm excited to move forward and read more Nabokov.

Hobbinol Oh I've got to get to this one sometime. Thanks for reminding me about it! 5y
Taylor @Hobbinol Yeah, it's worth reading if you're into Nabokov. 5y
9 likes1 stack add2 comments
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love_everylittlething
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Good bookstore day yesterday!

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GoneFishing

The act of vividly recalling a patch of the past is something that I seem to have been performing with the utmost zest all my life, and I have reason to believe that this almost pathological keenness of the retrospective faculty is a hereditary trait.

earlecooks I loved his memoir. Great writing & what a fascinating life! 6y
47 likes10 stack adds1 comment
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GoneFishing

How small the cosmos (a kangaroo's pouch would hold it), how paltry and puny in comparison to human consciousness, to a single individual recollection, and its expression in words!

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Bjansen55
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Nabokov always says it like it is.

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Bjansen55
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Talk about an opening sentence. Wow.

7 likes2 stack adds