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Sounds and Other Stories
Print Edition
ISBN
978-619-02-0597-5
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17.80 lv.
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Format
Paperback
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Pages
296
Published
04 September 2020

Sounds and Other Stories

The threads that connect the first two dozen Russian-language stories of Vladimir Nabokov selected here are different. The musical theme sets the tone of the volume, and the melody of the rain is heard, interrupted by musical pauses. Next are the topics of chance, the role of fate and deceptive happiness, the writing, the mystified authorship, the relationships with criticism and the reader.

Sounds is a short story originally written in Russian in September 1923. In the story, the narrator recounts to an old flame a date they once had, whilst her husband was away, where they visited a friend, Pal Palych, in the country. From the very beginning, it is revealed that the narrator is an aesthetic individual, prone to epiphanies. For him, the world seems "homogonous, congruent, bound by the laws of harmony". Whereas the narrator is prone to communicate his epiphanies in the language of sound, the woman is "habitually untalkative". When the narrator must venture back to Palych's house to retrieve his date's cigarette-holder, he finds his friend bleary eyed and suggests that he get outside more. Towards the end, the woman tells the narrator that she'd leave her husband to be with him. The reader by now already suspects that something is up, as the narrator has revealed that he loves not only her, but the entire world: "it was not you alone who were my lover but the entire earth". In the end, the narrator rides his bicycle home, stopping along the way to sit on a park bench where he notices a woman he plans to talk to, as well as seeing Palych fishing.

About the Author
Vladimir  Nabokov

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Nabokovs were known for their high culture and commitment to public service, and the elder Nabokov was an outspoken opponent of antisemitism and one of the leaders of the opposition party, the Kadets. In 1919, following the Bolshevik revolution, he took his family into exile. Four years later he was shot and killed at a political rally in Berlin while trying to shield the speaker from right-wing assassins. 

The Nabokov household was trilingual, and as a child Nabokov was already reading Wells, Poe, Browning, Keats, Flaubert, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, alongside the popular entertainments of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne. As a young man, he studied Slavic and romance languages at Trinity College, Cambridge, taking his honors degree in 1922. For the next eighteen years he lived in Berlin and Paris, writing prolifically in Russian under the pseudonym Sirin and supporting himself through translations, lessons in English and tennis, and by composing the first crossword puzzles in Russian. In 1925 he married Vera Slonim, with whom he had one child, a son, Dmitri. 

Having already fled Russia and Germany, Nabokov became a refugee once more in 1940, when he was forced to leave France for the United States. There he taught at Wellesley, Harvard, and Cornell. He also gave up writing in Russian and began composing fiction in English. In his afterword to Lolita he claimed: "My private tragedy, which cannot, and indeed should not, be anybody's concern, is that I had to abandon my natural idiom, my untrammeled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English, devoid of any of those apparatuses--the baffling mirror, the black velvet backdrop, the implied associations and traditions--which the native illusionist, frac-tails flying, can magically use to transcend the heritage in his own way." [p. 317] Yet Nabokov's American period saw the creation of what are arguably his greatest works, Bend Sinister (1947), Lolita (1955), Pnin (1957), and Pale Fire (1962), as well as the translation of his earlier Russian novels into English. He also undertook English translations of works by Lermontov and Pushkin and wrote several books of criticism. Vladimir Nabokov died in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977.

Print Edition
Print Edition
ISBN
978-619-02-0597-5
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Price
17.80 lv.
(20.00 lv.)

* 11% online discount
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Free shipping in Bulgaria for orders above 50 lv.
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