Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited Essay

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France is a librarian who teaches history and interdisciplinary studies at University Liggett School and writing and poetry at Macomb College near Detroit, Michigan. In the following essay, France discusses how the use of memory and artifice in Nabokov's book gains the illusion of control over linear time.

Nabokov charmingly remembers and recreates special moments from the first forty years of his life in Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited. Early on, he informs the reader that he seeks to defy and transcend the limitations of linear time and mortality, using artifice to create a delicate and evocative interplay of words on paper. By carefully crafting sentences, paragraphs, and chapters, he is able to create the illusion of having succeeded. Like the magic lantern show concocted by Lenski, Nabokov's autobiography creates a space for imagination and magic. His strings of words, and the reader's absorption of them, conjure the...

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This section contains 1,016 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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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