The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

Front Cover
New Directions Publishing, 2008 - Fiction - 205 pages
19 Reviews

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, Nabokov's first novel in English, was completed in Paris in 1938, first published by New Directions in 1941, reissued in 1959 to wide critical acclaim and now relaunched again, with an appreciative introduction by Pulitzer-Prize winning critic Michael Dirda.

This, the narrator tells us, is the real life of famous author Sebastian Knight, the inside story. After Knight's death, his half-brother sets out to penetrate the mystery of the famous English novelist's life, but he is impeded by the false, the distorted, the irrelevant. Yet the search proves to be a story quite as intriguing as any of Sebastian Knight's own books, as baffling, and, in the end, as uniquely rewarding. On one level, this literary detective story has pungent points to make about the role of the artist in a society basically hostile to the creative spirit. On another, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight probes the essential problem of the ambiguity of human identity: Just who was Sebastian Knight?

  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
5
4 stars
10
3 stars
1
2 stars
3
1 star
0

Also, there is rich humor, and wonderful puns. - Goodreads
And then, that famous Nabokovian prose... - Goodreads
Some of my favourite writing is by Nabokov. - Goodreads
He isn't so much writing a novel as drawing you a map. - Goodreads

Review: The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

User Review  - Eric - Goodreads

This is probably the most beautiful Nabokov novel I've read (and it's up there with his most poignant short stories, too). Many passages left me rather stunned. The trickery, obscurity, and general ... Read full review

Review: The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

User Review  - Renee - Goodreads

Interesting and quick read. Quite a bit different than Lolita, so I'll certainly have to check out more Nabokov. Particularly liked this passage for some reason, "He wandered on talking to himself ... Read full review

Related books

Selected pages

Contents

I
5
II
15
III
24
IV
33
V
43
VI
52
VII
61
VIII
71
XII
111
XIII
121
XIV
131
XV
141
XVI
149
XVII
163
XVIII
174
XIX
183

IX
81
X
91
XI
101
XX
192
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nobokov was born April 22, 1899 in St. Petersburg, Russia to a wealthy family. He attended Trinity College, Cambridge. When he left Russia, he moved to Paris and eventually to the United States in 1940. He taught at Wellesley College and Cornell University. Nobokov is revered as one of the great American novelists of the 20th Century. Before he moved to the United States, he wrote under the pseudonym Vladimir Serin. Among those titles, were Mashenka, his first novel and Invitation to a Beheading. The first book he wrote in English was The Real Life of Sebastian Knight. He is best know for his work Lolita which was made into a movie in 1962. In addition to novels, he also wrote poetry and short stories. Nabokov died July 2, 1977.

Michael Dirda , who won a Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism at the Washington Post Book World , is the author of An Open Book , Bound to Please, and Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments . He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Bibliographic information