Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited Criticism

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Critics and literary historians have generally praised Speak, Memory as an excellent twentieth-century autobiography, memoir, and work of creative non- fiction. In a 1967 New York Times review, Eliot Fremont-Smith compared Nabokov's achievement to the fiction writing of Marcel Proust and James Joyce, recovering "forgotten feelings and past events from dark corners of the prison of time" in ways that allow the "evidence" to be "reordered, reenergized and expressed, at once transformed and re-created into memory and art." Julian Moynahan similarly compared Nabokov and Proust in a 1971 pamphlet, suggesting that both "provide elaborate and meticulously drafted maps for their realms of recollection, and carefully choose the . . . privileged moment, at which past and present will be allowed, briefly and dangerously, to meet and commingle."

Not all critics think the comparison wholly favorable, however. John Updike, in a critique published as part of a collection of his essays, thought that Proust...

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This section contains 298 words
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Buy the Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited Study Guide
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
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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