Laughter in the Dark, Vladimir Nabokov


Would you all just take a few hours and read some Nabokov? He didn’t just write Lolita. That’s a good book, it’s true, but he wrote more than that. His short stories are unbelievable, his memoirs are glittering and perfect, and Pale Fire is the most challenging book I’ve ever read. Reading Nabokov is an exercise in self-improvement. So you should read Lolita, but then you should read everything else he ever wrote. 

This book, Laughter in the Dark, is unlike anything else of his I’ve read. Originally written in Russian, Nabokov was so displeased with the first English translation that he decided to just translate it himself. And of course that means the writing is superb. I can’t write about Nabokov without using superlatives.

Like some of the other books I’ve read this month, everybody in this book sucks. Albinus, a husband, father, and art critic, lusts after a 16 year old girl named Margot. It all goes downhill from there. I suppose the biggest criticism you’ll hear of Nabokov is that while his prose is perfect, his characters don’t really develop, and I guess that’s the case here. That he’s able to keep you engaged in this relatively straightforward story regardless is a testament to the power of his writing. It is beautiful. It is perfect. Read Nabokov, would you?

Books read: 10


One response to “Laughter in the Dark, Vladimir Nabokov

  1. Pingback: This then is my… | Drown in melancholy·

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