Books: The Nabokov Defense

THE WALTZ INVENTION by Vladimir Nabokov. 1 1 1 pages. Phaedra. $4.95.

"Life," says one of Vladimir Nabokov's characters, "makes a constant attempt to prove it is real." Russian-born Author Nabokov prefers to believe it is not. For him, real life ended with a bang in the 1917 Revolution. Ever since then he has quietly taken refuge in an elegant, ironic domain of private jokes and personal fantasies. Lolita made him famous because the private joke was also a public one that millions found appalling or appealing. His other works (The Eye, Pale Fire, Pnin, etc.) have been more complex fantasies. One...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!