Published two weeks after Vladimir Nabokov’s seventieth birthday, Ada, or Ardor is one of his greatest masterpieces, the glorious culmination of his career as a novelist. It tells a love story troubled by incest, but it is also at once a fairy tale, epic, philosophical treatise on the nature of time, parody of the history of the novel, and erotic catalogue. Ada, or Ardor is no less than the supreme work of an imagination at white heat.
This is the first American edition to include the extensive and ingeniously sardonic appendix by the author, written under the anagrammatic pseudonym Vivian Darkbloom.
One of the twentieth century’s master prose stylists, Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg in 1899. He studied French and Russian literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, then lived in Berlin and Paris, where he launched a brilliant literary career. In 1940 he moved to the United States, and achieved renown as a novelist, poet, critic, and translator. He taught literature at Wellesley, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard. In 1961 he moved to Montreux, Switzerland, where he died in 1977.
“Nabokov writes prose the only way it should be written, that is, ecstatically.” —John Updike
Download and start listening now!
"I need to re-visit this. It deserves much more of my time, as it is about time, space and place, concatenations of highly erotic and intellectual love, and Van's perfect bowel movements. Maybe it is not about his bowel movements, but he mentions having perfect bowel movements a bit much. The incest is less problematic than the bowel movements. Vlad lost me when he had Van Veen share his treatise on time, which is... not terribly obviously ordered. But I want to throw myself back into the arduous murk and musk of the book. It's pretty heady."
A.K. (5 out of 5 stars)