Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Nabokov call the process of using both the English and Russian translations of "Speak, Memory" to shape the current work?

2. This chapter is the first recorded work, published in French in 1936, under the name "Mademoiselle O."

3. Of what descent is Nabokov's mother?

4. What does Nabokov claim stems more from an ecological longing for the place of his birth, than in his family's loss of property and station?

5. After his father's death, to where does Nabokov's widowed mother move?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does his butterfly hobby affect his life?

2. Who is Kirill?

3. How do the Nabokovs travel from St. Petersburg to Paris?

4. What evidence does the chapter give of Nabokov's bourgeois, aristocratic life?

5. What evidence from the text shows that Nabokov is beginning to have an interest in girls?

6. The local schoolmaster is brought in to give the children a crash course in the Russian language. What takes place at a meeting between the father, son, and schoolmaster?

7. Describe Nabokov's ancestors.

8. What is Nabokov's favorite Captain Mayne Reid novel? Why?

9. Describe Nabokov's encounters with his cousin, Yuri.

10. What are Vladimir and Colette caught doing?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How does the Nabokov family's lifestyle before exile contradict with the father's philosophy? Why might there be this discrepancy? What do you think is the opinion of the father about his family's lifestyle in Western Europe? Use information from the text to support your response.

Essay Topic 2

Nabokov spends his summer vacations in Biarritz, France.

Part 1) Describe Biarritz.

Part 2) How does Nabokov's family spend its time here?

Part 3) What is the author's purpose for including this information in the book?

Essay Topic 3

With what is Nabokov fascinated, in fact, obsessed? Give examples from the text to support your response. How do the members of his household encourage this obsession?

(see the answer keys)

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