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 Vladimir Nabokov


Born:   23 April 1899
Deceased:   2 July 1977

Russian-born American novelist, story writer, critic, translator, author of "Lolita"

      

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov Russian-born American novelist - was born in St. Petersburg on the 23rd of April 1899. The family of Nabokovs was wealthy and aristocratic, and also known for their commitment to public service, as Vladimir`s father (Vladimir Dimitrievich Nabokov) was a liberal politician and journalist. In 1919, following the Bolshevik revolution, he and his family were sent into exile. Four years later he was shot and killed at a political rally in Berlin while trying to shield the speaker from right-wing assassins.

Vladimir Nabokov grew up in a bilingual household where he spoke English and Russian, and at the age of 5 he also learnt French. Nabokov received his education at the Tenishev - St. Petersburg's most innovative school of those times. As a child Vladimir read works of Wells, Poe, Browning, Keats, Flaubert, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Tolstoy, and Chekhov along with the popular works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne. He wrote his first poem at the age of 15. While studying at the Tenishev he published two books of poetry. As a young man he studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, from where he graduated in 1922. For the next eighteen years he lived in Berlin and Paris, writing prolifically in Russian under the pseudonym Sirin and making extra earnings by working as a translator, by giving lessons in English and working as a tennis coach as well as by composing the first crossword puzzles in Russian. In 1925 he married Vera Slonim (she came from a Jewish family), with whom he had a son named Dmitri. Nabokov`s first novels were written in Russian. His first novels in English were The real life of Sebastian Knight (1941) and Bend Sinister (1947). In the early 1940`s the Atlantic and the New Yorker started publishing Vladimir`s short stories .The most famousNabokov`s work the novel Lolita was published in 1955 in France and appeared to be one of the most controversial novels of the 20th century and brought a success to the author. In some way it was the plateaus of his writing work.

The success brought by Lolita allowed Nabokov to abandon his other jobs and devote himself entirely to writing. In 1957 Nabokov published Pnin, in 1962 Pale Fire. In 1959 Nabokov moved to Switzerland and made the Montreux Palace Hotel his permanent home. His later works included a love story Ada (1969), Transparent Things (1972), and Look at the Harlequins! (1975), in which Nabokov's own life intertwines with the protagonist's who is also a writer.

Vladimir`s son Dmitri has translated several books of his father. Nabokov personally wished to be valued more as an American writer rather than a Russian one. However, apparently in the Soviet Union he enjoyed greater fame than in the West.

Nabokov died in Switzerland on the 2nd of July 1977.


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