Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle

Ada or Ardor A Family Chronicle Published two weeks after his seventieth birthday Ada or Ardor is one of Nabokov s greatest masterpieces the glorious culmination of his career as a novelist It tells a love story troubled by inces

  • Title: Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle
  • Author: Vladimir Nabokov
  • ISBN: 9780307788016
  • Page: 161
  • Format: ebook
  • Published two weeks after his seventieth birthday, Ada, or Ardor is one of Nabokov s greatest masterpieces, the glorious culmination of his career as a novelist It tells a love story troubled by incest But it is also at once a fairy tale, epic, philosophical treatise on the nature of time, parody of the history of the novel, and erotic catalogue Ada, or ArdorPublished two weeks after his seventieth birthday, Ada, or Ardor is one of Nabokov s greatest masterpieces, the glorious culmination of his career as a novelist It tells a love story troubled by incest But it is also at once a fairy tale, epic, philosophical treatise on the nature of time, parody of the history of the novel, and erotic catalogue Ada, or Ardor is no less than the supreme work of an imagination at white heat.This is the first American edition to include the extensive and ingeniously sardonic appendix by the author, written under the anagrammatic pseudonym Vivian Darkbloom.From the Trade Paperback edition.

    One thought on “Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle”

    1. One of the objects that immediately comes to mind when I think back to my childhood is a red rowboat exactly like the one in my avatar. That’s no coincidence of course as the avatar started out as an attempt at a symbolic ‘self-portrait’ based on personal memories. If there is coincidence here, it lies in the fact that a red row-boat called Souvenance is a recurrent memory for Van Veen, the narrator of Ada, or Ardor. I counted at least four mentions of that red rowboat with its mobile inla [...]

    2. She was soon ready, and they kissed tenderly in their hall way, between lift and stairs, before separating for a few minutes. “Tower”, she murmured in reply to his questioning glance, just as she used to do on those honeyed mornings in the past, when checking up on happiness. “And you?” “A regular ziggurat”A book that opens with a pedigree of aristocratic sounding Russian names could easily give the impression that a classic family epic will be the reader’s part. That misleading fa [...]

    3. Oh man, what can I say about this book? Just that I could probably reread Ada, and only Ada, for the rest of my life and still feel satisfied. For the most part, I read this book the way I usually read the first time around - that is, superficially, just trying to make general sense of what's going on and enjoying the sexy parts (of which there are many) - but on the few occasions that I sat down and made an effort to decipher the puns and allusions, things just started to click into place, and [...]

    4. “Maybe the only thing that hints at a sense of Time is rhythm; not the recurrent beats of the rhythm but the gap between two such beats, the gray gap between black beats: the Tender Interval.” ― Vladimir Nabokov, Ada, or Ardor: A Family ChronicleIncest, a game the Whole Family Can Play, NOT by Milton's blind Bradley®. Part I:There's a whole swath of novels I purchased in my twenties but knowing the authors' genius never felt quite ready to read (ah, tomorrow). It took me years to crack op [...]

    5. Remembrance, like Rembrandt, is dark but festive.If Nabokov is anything, he's clever. Unfortunately for Nabokov, clever is as clever does is rarely good enough in my case, so that lack of fifth star is a team effort on both our parts. Fortunately for Nabakov, so are the remaining four stars, making this review a pleased one despite all my grumbling.As stated in the summary, the book encompasses fairy tale, epic, thoughts on time, parody of novel, and erotica. The first and second were of medium [...]

    6. “Maybe the only thing that hints at a sense of Time is rhythm; not the recurrent beats of the rhythm but the gap between two such beats, the gray gap between black beats: the Tender Interval.” First off, I should say this is my least favourite Nabokov novel. It’s an insanely clever novel and probably needs to be read at least twice to be fully appreciated, which is another way of saying it’s hard work. The first three chapters are virtually unreadable. It felt like arriving at someone’ [...]

    7. I have trouble writing positive reviews. It's precisely when I love a book that I most strongly feel how little justice my words can do to the experience of reading it, which is how I end up writing reviews like this.Nonetheless, Ada deserves a review. I'm not a very widely read person, and I rarely feel justified in saying that anything I've read is not read often enough. (How would I know? Maybe everyone else is just off reading other books that are even better.) But I really do believe that A [...]

    8. Suppose things had worked out better for Humbert Humbert. Suppose he'd gone to jail for a while but hadn't had a heart attack there, and suppose Lolita hadn't died while still a teenager, giving birth to a stillborn child. Suppose instead that they'd both survived, had various sordid adventures, and then miraculously reconnected twenty years later, at which point they suddenly realised that they had some something beautiful and unique together. And suppose that Humbert actually wrote his memoirs [...]

    9. Ada or Ardor is Nabokov's biggest novel, and in many ways a summation of his linguistic dexterity as well as his literary themes, with all the pleasures and problems those things imply.His writing is a constant astonishment. His admirers are sometimes surprised to remember that it's not to everyone's tastes. Nabokov's sentences are exact, yet often long and complicated; they are utterly stripped of cliché; they are very alert to such pleasures as assonance, alliteration, sesquipedalianism and c [...]

    10. Stylistically and structurally, Ada is undoubtedly a masterpiece. Isn't that the joy of reading Nabokov anyway, the joy of watching a master at work? The seeming ease of his complicated prose, the assimilation of polyglot, portmonteau words, annagrammitic tricks, haute vocabulary, allusion, and labyrinthine sentences, is really a wonder. The first 200 or so pages of this book are absolutely hypnotizing. Ada is a parody of the modern novel, from Anna Karenina to Lolita, and its most obvious prece [...]

    11. Full of Lust 'n Genetic CombustionConstructed with brilliance and complexity and including maybe Nabokov's most radiant, gorgeous writing, the novel runs from 1884 through 1967, covering such heady themes as the texture of time. Unfortunately, this presented an even higher hurdle for my moral prejudices than Lolita, believe it or not. Perhaps, it's in the way the topic (incest) was approached. In 1884, deadpan Van is 14 and precious lil' Ada is 12. They believe themselves to be first cousins, a [...]

    12. Most people give accolades to Nabokov for simply being Nabokov, and I have to admit, I'm always tempted to fall in with the flock rather than give my real opinion of his books. After all, if I don't like it, it must mean that I don't "get it," and if I don't "get it," it must somehow mean that I'm stupid, right? Let's start off by admitting that Nabokov's books are hard to "get" and that even those with great intelligence don't derive everything offered or intended by these novels. So if I write [...]

    13. Oh man, sometimes really weirds me out, like just now when I read all of these really well-written slams or relative-slams of this book. This book to me is so beautiful and lush and rich. I pick it up all the time and read favorite pages or phrases over again; it makes me feel full. It's romantic and strange. The tedium of parts of it just reminds me of the tedium of real-life. I fucking love the shit out of this book, y'all.

    14. Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle is not my favorite Nabokov, but, yes, a Nabokov is a Nabokov, so naturally it is preternaturally well-written, is fluent in more languages than you, is better read than you, dresses better, eats better, exercises more, dates all the guys or girls you’re too nervous to talk to, never has to worry about money, is always healthier than you, can hold its liquor better than you can, all in all, is better than you—and knows it too.Apparently Nabokov was working on [...]

    15. I. "Nabokov is an unsettling writer as well as a funny one because he is deep where he looks shallow, moving when he seems flippant." - Michael Wood, The Magician's Doubts II. I've read most of Nabokov's novels and purposefully saved Ada for the end of my initial run. I'm glad I did because I needed the goodwill I'd built up to get through the first 30+ pages which are the most difficult and unappealing of his career. They're fastidiously baroque, smugly preening, and difficult to follow. Almost [...]

    16. I came to a strange realization while reading this book: that practically every instance I can think of where an author used an unreliable narrator, it's always the same character: he's an intelligent, introspective guy with a slight cynical mean streak, a man with a fairly high opinion of himself (which is constantly reaffirmed by the world around him)--he succeeds without trying too hard, usually in a number of fields, though the success never lasts (because where would the plot go if it did?) [...]

    17. Before reading:Do I dare try this? It looks hard to understand. Disturbing subject too. ********************On finishing:The book is amazing. There is absolutely no question about that! Did I love all of it? No. Sometimes I was completely lost, and that just isn’t fun. I didn't understand some lines, but that is due to my own lack of knowledge, not any fault of the book. Take note - the first four chapters are pretty much incomprehensible. Don't quit too soon. No other parts are this difficult [...]

    18. «Ada é o livro pelo qual eu gostaria de ser lembrado depois da minha morte.»[Vladimir Nabokov]Por mim será lembrado como um dos livros mais difíceis que já li. Perdi-me no labirinto de referências literárias, históricas e geográficas, camufladas por jogos de palavras, anagramas (por exemplo, as Notas são de Vivian Darkbloom - que é dos poucos que consegui decifrar), nomes inventados para pessoas reais e um sem fim de frases de que não apreendi o sentido. Ah, e o capítulo quatro sob [...]

    19. “This interminable book is written in dense, erudite, alliterative, punsome, pore-clogging prose; and every character, without exception, sounds like late Henry James.” — Martin Amis

    20. O poveste scandaloasă despre oameni inteligenţi.Van Veen şi Ada Veen, doi fraţi după tată crescuti de familii diferite, doi copii cu o inteligenţă absolut uluitoare, se îndrăgostesc unul de celălat, iar romanul urmăreşte zbuciumata lor iubire interzisă pe un interval de aproape un secol, până ce aceştia vor trece la cele veşnice. În cele aproape 600 de pagini descoperim un veritabil poem în proză despre iubire fără limite sociale sau morale, despre căutare, regăsire şi [...]

    21. A bit rich for my blood. Walk away with the feeling Nabokov is a genius and I am peasant who barely skates the surface of the English language. Will reread in 20 years when I am more erudite and sophisticated. This reading guide was invaluable to understanding the 98% of the tri-lingual puns and obscure literary references that went completely over my head. (Does anyone actually read Chateaubriand?)Totally inspired now to read Mansfield Park again purely for the incest.

    22. I don't even know how to classify this book. Is it science-fiction? It has elements of that genre, yes. Is it fantasy? Sure, it might be, at a very subtle level. Is it magical realism? Damn it, it has traits of that one too. What is it? What? I don't know. But I feel like I've been baptized into Nabokov's style with it. It's my first book of his and I honestly can't wait to get each of his other ones and drown in them. At certain points, especially in the beginning and in the fourth part of it, [...]

    23. 541 pages in to a 589 page book and I simply can't read the rest. I kept going for awhile because I was hoping to get to the "masterpiece" part. Nope. I didn't care for this at all. The language was beautiful but I simply didn't care about the characters.

    24. To write a review of Ada is almost impossible except to say that it is the book in which Nabokov, the greatest prose stylist in English, uses his mastery of the language and his great knowledge of European literary history to his greatest extent and evidently enjoys himself! The whole book is choc-a-bloc with word-play, literary puzzles, allusions to other works, hidden quotations, alliteration, streams of consciousness, history, science fiction, dollops of French, helpings of Russian, laces of [...]

    25. Delightful, but not without foible. First, the great: structurally, Ada sits with Ulysses atop the literary summit. Lexically, Ada finds peer only in Gravity's Rainbow and Darconville's Cat, novels where assiduity and lyrical exuberance burst with palpable crimson ambition, where the imaginative faculty is affirmed in every sentence. Nabokov is in full-flex (less Michelangelo's David and more Ronnie Coleman) here, his prose drenched in sensuous lucidity and aristocratic aplomb, and at his best w [...]

    26. I read this book for one sentence, a sentence that’s followed me around, unattached, uprooted, for years: “And yet I adore him. I think he’s quite crazy, and with no place or occupation in life, and far from happy, and philosophically irresponsible— and there is absolutely nobody like him.”Leave it to Nabokov to make that sentence a promise on which the entire book follows through. The acrobatics that man can do with words would stand anyone on their head. Words, in other words, worth [...]

    27. perhaps the ultimate desert island book, one that can be read over and over, tweaking out the genealogies, luxuriating in the steamy, fumbling sex of pre-teens, trying to keep up with the uncles and dads via flashbacks, saddened by sickness, mind fevers, hitler, and the just-bad-luck of bojo soviet canada. does this not make sense? well welcome welcome. and for my next trick, WALKING ON MY HANDS!it's as if david foster wallace somehow was really born in st petersberg and fled in 1919 and after p [...]

    28. (view spoiler)[Bettie's BooksThe rating, any status updates, and those bookshelves, indicate my feelings for this book. (hide spoiler)]

    29. When planning to review certain books, I find myself subject to the common complaint of so many in freshman comp: I don’t know how to start. And here we are. Despite having “notes” in my head and pages marked (laud or laugh at me for the effort, but yeah I actually consciously semi-plan my GR review as I’m reading. Neeeerd.), it’s tough to sum up my thoughts on a 600 page book, especially when my opinion changed so much in the course of reading. See:Reading Progress:06/13 page 535 89.0 [...]

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