Tuesday, March 12, 2013

speak, memory

what it is: speak, memory
where i found it: the used book store

Dense, wordy, pretentious, aristocratic, grumpy and awesome is Nabokov's autobiography Speak, Memory. Between pages of stroking himself about his family/social stock and talking about his father as a beloved overseer of Russian peasants are long passages of mutli-layered images worth reading slowly and multiple times. Amongst excerpts of a spoiled rich child's indulgences are oddball descriptions of experiencing sounds and letters in color and the hobbled dwarf who cleans the family tennis courts and is made to fetch umbrellas. When his mother takes a break from ignoring "the help" she picks mushrooms and arranges them in giant cocentric circles that are a lot of fun to imagine. So while I can report mixed results,at least from the first half of the book, I can also recommend it.