A Guide to Berlin Essay

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In the following excerpt, Johnson offers an interpretation of Nabokov's use of mirror images in "A Guide to Berlin," noting connections between imagery and theme in the story.

The eight-page sketch "A Guide to Berlin" was Nabokov's fourteenth published story and was first published in the Russian emigre newspaper Rul' on Christmas Eve, 1925. At the opening of the story the nameless narrator, an emigre Russian writer, sits in a Berlin Bierstube and describes the sights of his wholly unremarkable day. This seven-line mise en scène is the first half of a frame which is completed at story end by a longer, present tense episode set in the same pub. The piece consists of five numbered vignettes which range in length from a single paragraph to slightly over two pages. The first, entitled "Truby" ("Pipes"), describes a row of large utility pipes lying along the curb awaiting...

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This section contains 2,716 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Guide to Berlin Study Guide
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A Guide to Berlin from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.