`Free Kindle ☃ The Real Life of Sebastian Knight ↡ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

A mysterious and at times almost sinister story with a somewhat curious ending whose real meaning depends entirely on the reader that leaves you with a lot to think about, written in a brilliant way by an astonishingly brilliant writer who knows that what you don t write is equally important as what you do write, and with that he plays with you in a deceptively simple narrative that is really anything but If you don t pay attention, you ll gain little from Volodya. The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, Vladimir Nabokov The Real Life of Sebastian Knight is the first English language postmodern novel by Vladimir Nabokov, written from late 1938 to early 1939 in Paris and first published in 1941 The narrator, V., is absorbed in the composition of his first literary work, a biography of his half brother, the Russian born English novelist, Sebastian Knight 1899 1936 In the course of his quest he tracks down Sebastian s contemporaries at Cambridge and interviews other friends and acquaintances In the course of his work V also surveys Sebastian s books and attempts to refute the views of the misleading The Tragedy of Sebastian Knight, a biography by Knight s former secretary Mr Goodman, who maintains that Knight was too aloof and cut off from real life V concludes that, after a long running romantic relationship with Clare Bishop, Sebastian s final years were embittered by a love affair with another woman, a Russian whom he presumably met at a hotel in Blauberg, where Sebastian spent time recuperating from a heart ailments in June 1929 V leaves for Blauberg, where, with the help of a private detective, he acquires a list of the names of four women who were staying at the hotel at the same time as Sebastian and tracks down each to interview them After dismissing the possibility of Helene Grinstein in Berlin, his search leads him to Paris and the list narrows to two candidates 2009 1380 222 964690016 1385 20 1387 307 9789644122880 There is only one real number one And love, apparently, is the best exponent of this singularity Vladimir Nabokov, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight Nabokov s tenth novel and first published novel written in English, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight for me seemed like a dry run at big, complex themes he would later use in Ada funky plot structure and Pale Fire meta fixation on another artists literary work along with a complex, M bius like narrative Is this a story written by literary author Sebastian Knight about a real or imagined younger brother s search for himself OR is it as it first seems a story about a younger brother writing a biography about a dead or imagined famous writer brother, and following clues,etc about his half brother s life Can it be both How much of it is a funky memoir of Nabokov s own emotional state after leaving Russia To me Nabokov was writing on a chiral strip that appears to have two sides, but might just have one Clever Absolutely, but just not in the same league as his great English novels Pale Fire, Pnin, Lolita, Ada or even his very, very good Russian novels Despair, Glory, etc Still, for Nabokov s first novel written in a foreign although no tongue for VN seems foreign , it dances and moves quite nicely I guess, besides the M bius visual I got after finishing The Real Life of SK , I should also admit that Nabokov made it impossible to avoid chess images Chess is a common theme in many of his novels the Defense King, Queen, Knave, etc , but some novels are just shaded with opaque chess shadows, while others like this one seem to have every piece and the board thrown in This novel kinda reminded me of a ruleless game of chess I played with my older brother who died suddenly four years ago when I was young The pieces didn t behave at least my Black pieces didn t behave and at one point I totally drove my brother absolutely nuts because after nearly clearing the board we somehow managed to be left with just his White King and my Black King I insisted we play till the game was over, but we just circled the board I wouldn t let the fake game end in a draw, but the set up was impossible so I just chased him around and around and around the board That fake game felt a lot like the Real Life of Sebastian Knight , just not nearly as literary and didn t end with both frustrated kings jammed up my nose. The Real Life of Sebastian Knight is a tragic comedy Or comic tragedy It s also a satire that mocks the glorification of writers.The premise of The Real Life of Sebastian Knight is that of a biography kind of of an author Sebastian Knight being written by his half brother The story is told by the half brother as he attempts to investigate his brother s life The authors half brother is a hapless idiot Rather dumb and with terrible luck Not only that, but he seems to idolize his brother who not only never gave a shit about him and who seemed to be overall a self absorbed asshole The story being told by the writer s dull witted, clumsy brother is mostly about his stumbling efforts to piece together what his half brother was really like We get very little understanding of Sebastian, mostly a view of how cringingly pitiable the narrator is instead.Very close to the beginning of the story, the narrator enraged me by burning Sebastian s letters Sebastian asked him to burn them and he thought about reading them instead but did burn them Up in smoke goes the narrator s first chance to have any insight into the secret inner life of his brother In fact, many of the letters were love letters and than half the novel is about the narrator trying to figure out who Sebastian s lover was WHICH HE WOULD HAVE KNOWN IMMEDIATELY IF HE HAD READ THE LETTERS The entire stumbling journey and mystery was utterly unnecessary out of some embarrassingly foolish desire to follow his dead brother s wishes LikeI m going to investigate this mystery and begin by burning all my clues The entire story is filled with questionable decisions by the narrator, which lead to very little understanding of anything on his part It s both hilarious to watch his dumb mistakes and deeply sad to see him pursuing the empty meaningless shadow of his scornful arrogant brother Is Nabokov saying, ignore the author just read the damn books The narrator spends quite a bit of time too trying to tease out meaning from Sebastian s books In other words, literary criticism of imaginary texts The books sound rather inventive and at the same time ridiculous too Like an author who tried too hard out of insecurity It s never quite clear if we should believe that Sebastian was actually a worthwhile, skilled author or merely achieved some literary buzz for a few books that will not age well and will disappear once a little time has passed This narrators story of Sebastian s life won t do much to cement his place his history, in fact, if anything, they will make him of a laughingstock merely through the reflections of in his half brother As a biography, it s of an anti biography The narrator specifically notes that he tried to leave himself out of it and only indirectly touch on his own life, but the story is almost entirely about his own sad quest, and he s too oblivious to see it The Real Life of Sebastian Knight crucifies the idea of hero worship And idolizing writers or artists The Real Life of Sebastian Knight leaves little to admire about the fellow Despite the obvious surface humor and satire of The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, there are many intriguing layers to it, such as a theme that addresses the impossibility of understand a real self It s an onion with layers that can t be peeled Or, better to say, they can be peeled and peeled and peeled and you end up with nothing left This narrator isn t even good at peeling Dare I sayhe was rather unapeeling This book was a metaphysical detective story that ends up with nothing to show for it The idea of a self is pure fiction And representing that through the life of a fiction writer is an excellent metaphor I found the narrator incredibly frustrating at times, in his obtuse choices and embarrassing hero worship, but at the same time, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight was a rewarding and intriguing narrative. This was Nabokov s first novel written in English, and it s startling to learn that he only switched from Russian because he decided to enter it into a British literary competition Famously, he wrote most of it perched on a bidet in his Paris apartment so as not to disturb his young son, a detail it is impossible to learn without trying to pin down a certain gushing, purgative quality to the prose It is, in fact, just as typically if embryonically Nabokovian as his later work, and in theme as well as language Sebastian Knight is full of pre echoes of the kind of things that will eventually dominate Nabokov s bigger, famous books identity, memory, literary pastiche, linguistic playfulness, formal games, and a direct, witty, elaborate narrative voice It takes the form of a biography of a deceased writer Sebastian Knight written by his anonymous half brother, identified only as V recall that all of Nabokov s previous books had been written under the pen name of V Sirin but it is quickly obvious that in fact we ll be hearing less about Knight himself than about V s attempts to research and write the book we are reading The end result comes over as something like a cross between Tristram Shandy and Steve Aylett s Lint though not as funny as either.There are copious quotations from and comments on Knight s oeuvre he was, we are told, the author of such bestsellers as Lost Property and The Doubtful Asphodel , and these allow Nabokov to outline a theory of literature from, as it were, a safe distance Many of the effects Knight is credited with words and phrases that almost mystically convey an impression of something, though you can t understand how are effects that you can recognise in Nabokov s own writing, if not here then certainly later Meanwhile a very funny subplot consists in our narrator s keen desire to rubbish the author of a previously published biography of Knight which, V insists, has got things all wrong These sections allow for some sly pastiching of academic prose, as well as giving voice to Nabokov s distaste for the whole process of examining writers through their personal lives or their supposed relation to world events.The bulk of the plot resides in those sections where the narrator is chasing down leads in the real world, trying to locate women that his brother had been involved with, and these sections at times play with the conventions of detective fiction Sebastian Knight and the narrator, like Nabokov himself, grew up in Russia and had to flee after the Revolution, and there are some beautiful early descriptive passages that deal with St Petersberg the pure luxury of a cloudless sky designed not to warm the flesh, but solely to please the eye the sheen of sledge cuts on the hard beaten snow of spacious streets with a tawny tinge about the middle tracks due to a rich mixture of horse dung the birghtly coloured bunch of toy balloons hawked by an aproned pedlar the soft curve of a cupola, its gold dimmed by the bloom of powdery frost the birch trees in the public gardens, every tiniest twig outlined in white the rasp and tinkle of winter traffic But ultimately Nabokov is never very interested in plot, and nor am I when I read him what I m interested in are the aesthetic effects There are plenty here, but they still feel like they re looking forward to what s to come Partisans of this novel say, a little defensively, that it can be enjoyed for its own sake and not just as an early curiosity, but I couldn t help feeling that the most interesting aspects of Sebastian Knight are things seen to triumphant effect in Pale Fire, Lolita or Ada But Nabokov being Nabokov, there is still lots to enjoy and to be suspicious of the stress on mistaken identity and authorial secrecy make you wonder if, perhaps, Sebastian Knight and V are really one and the same, engaged in a perpetual game of mirrors that ultimately points back to the puppeteer behind both of them, hunched gleefully on his bidet in 1930s Paris How does a real life of a person relate to his overtly known biography Sebastian s image does not appear as part of my boyhood, thus subject to endless selection and development, nor does it appear as a succession of familiar visions, but it comes to me in a few bright patches, as if he were not a constant member of our family, but some erratic visitor passing across a lighted room and then for a long interval fading into the night I explain this not so much by the fact that my own childish interests precluded any conscious relation with one who was not young enough to be my companion and not old enough to be my guide, but by Sebastian s constant aloofness, which, although I loved him dearly, never allowed my affection either recognition or food I could perhaps describe the way he walked, or laughed or sneezed, but all this would be no than sundry bits of cinema film cut away by scissors and having nothing in common with the essential drama The Real Life of Sebastian Knight is an investigation of the writer s past, an attempt to get nearer to his genuine self How close may an investigator come to the reality of the other person I collected one of the most precious pages of Sebastian s life A systematic mind than mine would have placed them in the beginning of this book, but my quest had developed its own magic and logic and though I sometimes cannot help believing that it had gradually grown into a dream, that quest, using the pattern of reality for the weaving of its own fancies, I am forced to recognize that I was being led right, and that in striving to render Sebastian s life I must now follow the same rhythmical interlacements The one s ego can only be known to oneself The ways the others see us, describe us and remember us are always the reflections distorted by their own consciousness. Nabokov s cold but never stylistically unsound first novel in English should make most said language speaking writers go ahead and give up now before they embarrass themselves The brainy, Russian bastard just leapfrogs from the lilly pad of his native language to the horizontally moving log of my native language with the ease of a joystick joggle of Frogger Jealous gripes and grouses aside, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight is a formally inventive metaphysical detective story about a prissy, aristocratic narrator who goes sniffing around his recently deceased brother s past to gather material for a biography on his life The dead brother went by the name Sebastian Knight and was an author of some esteemed repute with a respectable oeuvre of work to his name The two brothers half brothers if we are being honest shared a distant, oddly formal relationship while both were still alive, but this didn t weaken the narrator s sincere admiration for his brother s works As the unnamed narrator who Nabokov later revealed in a letter to an editor that his name was V as V traces his brother s background, chatting up old lovers and colleagues, we also get his personal insight into his brother s novels, with V drawing comfort from shared remembrances of childhood that Sebastian later cannibalized for his fiction As always, Nabokov is the great D D dungeon master of literature, and metafictional hijinks abound throughout the novel s text Remember when I said cold in the first sentence Well, the emotional fury of Lolita is absent from this book Sure, there are some sad, sympathetic moments but mostly this is a novel to be admired for all its well crafted cogs and sprockets that go whizzz, whirrrl, and ba doing, ba doing An unreliable narrator, a Russian migr in Paris, frequent allusions to chess We are definitely in Nabokov territory All that s missing are the butterflies His first English novel is about a man seeking a posthumous connection with his estranged half brother The novel is an exploration of identity, of the relationship between life and art, and also a tragic reminder of the transience of life This appears to be a very personal novel in the accounts of a Russian author learning to write in English, adapting to a new culture, and in the concern over artistic legacy and interpretation, Nabokov appears at times to be speaking through both subject S Knight and narrator unnamed Nabokov s prose is not bad for someone writing his first novel in his third language kidding, it s outstanding there is not even a hint of awkwardness or unfamiliarity.For me, this was something of a slow burn I felt a little disconnected at first, a little unsure of where Nabokov was leading me, but I was soon drawn into the depths of the mystery, and was moved by its poignant conclusion. It seems a little odd to give this top marks, only then to decide it s placed forth in my top 5 Nabokov reads so far Pale Fire is probably the best novel I have ever read at least in my top three of all time , with Lolita my second favourite Nab, and Laughter in the Dark coming home in third claiming the Nab bronze medal The Real Life of Sebastian Knight written whilst Vlad was in Paris in the late 30 s and his first penned in the English language caught me by complete surprise Because to be honest, I didn t think it could get anywhere near the aforementioned novels I believed it would be nothing than a mid afternoon snack, but it almost turned into a lavishing three course meal of the finest literature cuisine And it s funny how I referred to dinner, as this now makes me want to gobble up as many Nabokov books as possible, maybe even one day with pipe and slippers completing a clean sweep The format of this novel made it highly addictive to read, but it isn t without the mind boggling details and layers of narration that do create a challenge Maybe even bringing on a mild headache Nabokov combines the page turning aspect of a the detective genre with the complexities and characteristics of highbrow literature, making it the sort of read for both a mahogany enriched library and a summer beach house The Real Life of Sebastian Knight is the narrator, V s, biography of his recently deceased half brother, the renowned author Sebastian Knight Nabokov s book is supposedly written by V., who is writing about the works of another author, forming a dense, three layered cake of authorship While this could potentially bog the book down, turning it into a tiresome postmodernist exercise in metafiction, it does no such thing Nabokov s grace, wit and wonderful prose, keeps the narrative shimmering with life, with the lively narrator, splicing his often humorous commentary with keen observations of his subject and the world around him making it all the readable This could be looked at as Nabokov yet to hit the great heights that followed in the years to come, but the themes within The Real Life of Sebastian Knight were as interesting as anything I have read by him before The heart of the novel consists of loving summaries of Sebastian s own books, including copious quotations from them, which enable Nabokov to develop a philosophy of literature without seeming to do so A voluble attack upon an earlier biography, The Tragedy of Sebastian Knight , written by Knight s former secretary, which gives Nabokov the chance to mock certain tendencies in literary scholarship and criticism And the half bother narrator s quest for the truth about his love affairs with two different women Clare, to whom Sebastian was sort of married for a few years, and the Russian woman for whom he left her for, even though she made him sick with misery Nabokov has the narrator doing an awful lot of travelling, from Russia, to Paris where most of the novel takes place to Berlin, trying to gather as much information as possible to write his own book on his beloved half brother As the story proceeds in a series of almost Knight moves, the novel is full of chess allusions it becomes a thoroughly engaging piece of writing Whilst it can be relaxing to put your feet up with a good book that doesn t require much in the way of brain work, often than not, it s the challenging books that allow the reader to indulge fully with the text, even if we feel that the writer is trying to drive uncommitted and lazy readers up the wall.I loved it But it may be a novel only Nabokov lovers will appreciate the most Not an ideal place to start for the Vladimir virgin. `Free Kindle ↡ The Real Life of Sebastian Knight ⇜ Ben Sebastian m ya da Sebastian ben ya da belki ikimiz ikimizin de tan mad bir ba kas y z Sebastian Knight n Ger ek Ya am , kaybolu lar n, kaybedilenlerin, bir yere konulup sonra nereye kondu u unutulan mutlulu un roman JOHN LANCASTER Nabokov dayan lmaz n a rl n b l t r yor anlat c , anlat lan ki i ve metnin aras nda olu an gen y zlere yap an maskelerin, kim taraf ndan ve nas l yap t n n, yap t r ld n n, yaln zca s zc kleri ve bu yolla oyunlar kurmakla kan ksanabilir oldu unu r yor Nilg n Marmara K rm z Mavi Defter