January 18, 2013

Nabokov: Details of a Sunset

Posted in Uncategorized at 23:38 by Miracle

To Franz. Because you paid for the shipping of this book, haha,
and because you always bother to read my pseudo book-reviews.

Who else could describe the sudden death of an insignificant memory like Nabokov?  But then again, who else would write about the sudden death of an insignificant memory? …an insignificant memory that a chance occasion causes to be brought back from the humble and remote almshouse where it had been completing quietly its obscure existence. It blinks, it is still pulsating and reflecting light – but the next moment, under your very eyes, it breathes one last time and turns up its poor toes, having not withstood the too abrupt transit into the harsh glare of the present.  Henceforth all that remains at your disposal is the shadow, the abridgement of that recollection, now devoid, alas, of the original’s bewitching convincingness. 

Details of a Sunset and Other Stories.  Thirteen stories of Russian hue and tone.  One should place this alongside the short stories of Tolstoy and Chekov. Details of a Sunset and Other Stories. Because I am beating around the bush.  Because I still cannot get myself to read Lolita.

But Nabokov, it had to be him. Because my first book of the year had to be by someone like Proust who, through their narratives, emerge from the pages as the best writing teachers one could ever have.  Because authors like them do not teach the reader to imitate them, they teach you to pay attention – to trifles, to life, to everything – and provoke you to write about trifles, about life, about anything, in your own fashion.

You do not come out of a Nabokov thinking you have read a mere story. You come out of it knowing that you have just read art.

Filed under Life Betwixt Book Covers


  1. bookysh said,

    Hi! 🙂


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