Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited - Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

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Summary

In Chapter 1 Nabokov recalls his earliest memories—his cave in the nursery created by a gap between the wall and sofa, draped in blankets and the moment when he first becomes aware of age. He establishes his narrator’s voice in this section and repeatedly refers to the Greek goddess Mnemosyne almost as if he is talking to her and not oneself reflectively.

In some of the earliest memories he has to tease out the anecdotes and vignettes by locating the memories in context. He recalls one memory of him and his father in a diner, but cannot remember how old he is. He does remember his father objecting to eating with a Japanese man. From this Nabokov deduces that this must have been 1904 during the Japanese-Russian conflict; therefore he was five.

In his first decade of life his family’s wealth oscillated between rich and poor. But...

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This section contains 348 words
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Buy the Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited Study Guide
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