Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited - Study Guide Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

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Nabokov begins to write poetry around 1914. His first poem takes shape in his mind during a sudden thunderstorm, which forces him to shelter in a crude pavilion in the middle of a park on the family's estate in Vyra. He describes the poet as a man who can feel and interpret everything that is happening in any single moment. Poetry, says Nabakov, is positional. It is a description of one human being's place in the universe at a precise moment in time. As the poet slips further away from that moment, the words he is using lose some of their luster.

Nabokov composes verse throughout the summer of 1914. He writes in Russian, an experience that he describes as crippling because the Russian vocabulary is poetically "anemic," due to the unusual syllable count of even its common words. Through later observation, he comes to realize that...

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This section contains 505 words
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Buy the Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited Study Guide
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Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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