Books: Faded Snapshot

THE DEFENSE by Vladimir Nabokov. 256 pages. Putnam. $5.

That prominent lepidopterist Vladimir Nabokov is a busy but exceedingly thrifty man. During the past decade, in between chasing butterflies, translating Pushkin (TIME, July 31), and writing his brilliant, cross-grained fiction, he has been bringing to market carefully supervised English translations of his own early novels, which he wrote in Russian in the days when he was a member of the Czarist émigré community in Berlin and Paris. Several of these translations, notably 1963's version of The Gift (his last Russian novel), have displayed the unmistakable Nabokov wit and sardonic inventiveness. The Defense...

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