Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle by Vladimir Nabokov

By Vladimir Nabokov

Published weeks after his 70th birthday, Ada, or Ardor is considered one of Nabokov's maximum masterpieces, the fantastic end result of his profession as a novelist.  It tells a love tale by means of incest.  But extra: it's also immediately a fairy story, epic, philosophical treatise at the nature of time, parody of the historical past of the unconventional, and erotic catalogue.   Ada, or Ardor isn't any below the very best paintings of an mind's eye at white heat.

This is the 1st American version to incorporate the broad and ingeniously  sardonic appendix through the writer, written lower than the anagrammatic pseudonym Vivian Darkbloom.

From the exchange Paperback edition.

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Extra resources for Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle

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This is the only instance of nectar having the power to cause sleep, but it does relax Jupiter at Ovid Met.  f. (diffusum nectare curas/ seposuisse graves), and, as it was the wine of the gods, it could be imagined to have wine’s soporific effect, to a much greater degree (hence alta, potentia and the twofold reference to slumber occupying a full line), as would be needed to quieten a raging superhero. This wine connection would explain the reference to the tempora in : for wine at and affecting the temples see McKeown on Ovid Am.

V. .  ff.. Jupiter’s speech to Juno falls into a tradition that goes back to Homer (cf. g. Il. , Virg. Aen. ). This particular version is lively and pointed. It is a speech of strong emotions, but it is still dignified and imperious, not least because Jupiter as well as berating Juno is also trying to cow her (successfully). It is not without its humorous side too, especially as Jupiter’s superior and biting remarks are typical of many exasperated husbands when having words with their wives.  nova: ‘new’ and also (caustically) ‘strange’ (because Juno’s joy over Hercules’ troubles involves problems for her own protégé Jason, who will as a result lose this mighty crew-member).

There is (pathetic and/or gently humorous) hyperbole here and in vacuis . . montibus ().  Hercules’ repeated shouts (cf. ) no longer drown out the sound of the rivers and the breezes. Again there is exaggeration. commentary  vacuis . . montibus: local ablative or dative/ablative of agent. v. , b): cf.  f. ‘Vacant’ is not a likely sense as Hercules is still in the area, and so is Hylas (cf. ), not to mention animals.  ff.. Extended accounts of dreams (with speech) were extremely common in epic poetry: see Hom.

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