The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov by Andrea Pitzer audiobook

The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov

By Andrea Pitzer
Read by Susan Boyce

Blackstone Publishing, Blackstone Publishing
15.15 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781482984866

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    ISBN: 9781482149456

A startling andrevelatory examination of Nabokov’s life and works—notably Pale Fire andLolita—bringing new insight into one of the twentieth century’s mostenigmatic authors. Novelist Vladimir Nabokov witnessed the horrors of hiscentury, escaping Revolutionary Russia then Germany under Hitler, and fleeingFrance 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 towrite artful tales of depravity. But does one of the greatest writers in theEnglish language really deserve the label of amoral aesthete bestowed on him byso many critics? Using information from newly-declassified intelligence files andrecovered military history, journalist Andrea Pitzer argues that far from beinga proponent of art for art’s sake, Vladimir Nabokov managed to hide disturbinghistory in his fiction—history that has gone unnoticed for decades. Nabokovemerges as a kind of documentary conjurer, spending the most productive decadesof his career recording a saga of forgotten concentration camps and searingbigotry, from World War I to the Gulag and the Holocaust. Lolitasurrenders Humbert Humbert’s secret identity, and reveals a Nabokov appalled byAmerican anti-Semitism. The lunatic narrator of Pale Fire recallsRussian tragedies that once haunted the world. From Tsarist courts to Nazi filmsets, from CIA front organizations to wartime Casablanca, the story ofNabokov’s family is the story of his century—and both are woven inextricablyinto his fiction.

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Summary

Summary

A startling andrevelatory examination of Nabokov’s life and works—notably Pale Fire andLolita—bringing new insight into one of the twentieth century’s mostenigmatic authors.

Novelist Vladimir Nabokov witnessed the horrors of hiscentury, escaping Revolutionary Russia then Germany under Hitler, and fleeingFrance 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 towrite artful tales of depravity. But does one of the greatest writers in theEnglish language really deserve the label of amoral aesthete bestowed on him byso many critics?

Using information from newly-declassified intelligence files andrecovered military history, journalist Andrea Pitzer argues that far from beinga proponent of art for art’s sake, Vladimir Nabokov managed to hide disturbinghistory in his fiction—history that has gone unnoticed for decades. Nabokovemerges as a kind of documentary conjurer, spending the most productive decadesof his career recording a saga of forgotten concentration camps and searingbigotry, from World War I to the Gulag and the Holocaust. Lolitasurrenders Humbert Humbert’s secret identity, and reveals a Nabokov appalled byAmerican anti-Semitism. The lunatic narrator of Pale Fire recallsRussian tragedies that once haunted the world. From Tsarist courts to Nazi filmsets, from CIA front organizations to wartime Casablanca, the story ofNabokov’s family is the story of his century—and both are woven inextricablyinto his fiction.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Pitzer, like Nabokov, is a beautiful writer and gimlet-eyed observer, especially about her subject…Her attention to history’s moral components is refreshingly blunt: ‘The dead are not nameless,’ she writes of the writers and others killed in Stalin’s Great Purge of the late 1930s. Inviting us to reconsider Nabokov, Pitzer also introduces herself as a writer worthy of attention.” Boston Globe
“Pitzer metes out her conclusions slowly, holding us in suspense until she reveals a ‘secret history’ hidden in each of Nabokov’s major novels—in particular Lolita and Pale Fire—typically involving a momentous tragedy like the Gulag or the Holocaust…Without question, the horrors of the twentieth century have always rumbled beneath the surface of Nabokov’s novels, and Pitzer’s new book is a fine guide to their nightmarish underbelly.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Given how much scholarship concerns Nabokov’s oeuvre, it is bold to contend, as Pitzer does in her introduction, that ‘a whole layer of meaning in his work has vanished.’ That statement had me sharpening my critical daggers. But by the end, Pitzer managed to pretty much make her case, mostly by not belaboring the point, though also never deviating from it.” New Republic
“Fifty years is long time to wait for a decryption device, but one has been furnished by Andrea Pitzer, the author of The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov, not just one of the most beguiling literary biographies to come out in years but also a first-rate addition to the groaning shelf of Nabokov studies.” Daily Beast
“[Pitzer’s] fresh perspective will likely send readers back to his books.” Publishers Weekly
“This is a brilliant examination that adds to the understanding of an inspiring and enigmatic life.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Andrea Pitzer

Author Bio: Andrea Pitzer

Andrea Pitzer’s writing has appeared in many places, from USA Today to Poet Lore. She also founded Nieman Storyboard, the narrative nonfiction site of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Pitzer presented on Nabokov’s fiction at the 2009 Modern Language Association Conference.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 15.15
Audience: Adult
Language: English