Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle by Vladimir Nabokov

By Vladimir Nabokov

Released weeks after his 70th birthday, Ada, or Ardor is one in all Nabokov's maximum masterpieces, the fantastic fruits of his profession as a novelist. It tells a love tale bothered via incest. yet extra: it's also right now a fairy story, epic, philosophical treatise at the nature of time, parody of the historical past of the radical, and erotic catalogue. Ada, or Ardor isn't any below the preferrred paintings of an mind's eye at white heat.

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

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Les jours de beau temps, avec le scintillement innombrable de l’étendue d’eau et parfois les indolents nuages dans les hauteurs, la lumière blanche si particulière du nord de l’Amérique conférait à ce spectacle une grâce d’image sainte, une « sainte modernité » (si toutefois cette expression n’est pas trop absurde) transcendée par la toute-puissance du soleil atlantique ! Les jours de pluie, en revanche, le tableau prenait les allures, poisseuses et désespérées, d’un décor de polar à la Dashiell Hammett – au cœur duquel une sombre poésie mélancolique ne faisait jamais défaut.

Mon seul souhait demeurant désormais que cette heureuse contamination sensorielle agisse non seulement avec le thé insipide d’une cafétéria de musée mais encore, de façon générale, avec l’atmosphère délétère de notre monde actuel, de jour en jour davantage gagné, hélas, par une fastidieuse monotonie sans saveur. Frites Du temps de notre enfance, nous attendions le jeudi avec impatience, ma sœur et moi, non seulement parce que c’était le jour sans école, mais encore et surtout parce que c’était le jour où la chère Mme Lavigne, l’ancienne aide-cuisinière de mon grand-père (lequel avait longtemps tenu un restaurant), en sus de venir aider ma mère au ménage, avait institué le rituel hebdomadaire – intangible – des frites !

Je songeai alors aux écrits marocains de Paul Bowles, à son livre intitulé Un thé au Sahara et plus encore peut-être à la mystérieuse nouvelle intitulée « Un thé sur la montagne » où l’incommunicabilité radicale, associée à de récurrentes méprises, entre les autochtones et les visiteurs (thème prédominant de Bowles) se manifestait là encore dans la cérémonie du thé que la protagoniste américaine et son étrange compagnon adolescent prennent ensemble sur les falaises dominant Tanger. Or d’une certaine façon, la même impression – quel était donc le sens de ma présence à cet endroit ?

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