Nabokov in Berlin

"In all Nabokov's work, the kindliness of memory recreates Eden, just as perversity razes it to the ground," writes Lesley Chamberlain. "We can lose our capacity to interpret the world as good. We can see only darkness."

"If Nabokov's Berlin was in his head, it was nevertheless not invented," writes Lesley Chamberlain. "Perhaps tying works of art to their originating topography is vulgar and needs to be kept discreet. But history needs Nabokov. ... In all Nabokov's work, the kindliness of memory recreates Eden, just as perversity razes it to the ground. He was a Russian writer, but one for whom surely Proust in Remembrance of Things Past was his immediate predecessor. We can lose our capacity to interpret the world as good. We can see only darkness."

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