The Luzhin Defense
Vladimir Nabokov's early novel is the dazzling story of the coarse, strange yet oddly endearing chess-playing genius Luzhin. Discovering his prodigious gift in boyhood and rising to the rank of International Grandmaster, Luzhin develops a lyrical passion for chess that renders the real world a... show more
Vladimir Nabokov's early novel is the dazzling story of the coarse, strange yet oddly endearing chess-playing genius Luzhin. Discovering his prodigious gift in boyhood and rising to the rank of International Grandmaster, Luzhin develops a lyrical passion for chess that renders the real world a phantom. As he confronts the fiery, swift-swooping Italian Grandmaster Turati, he brings into play his carefully devised defence. Making masterly play of metaphor and imagery, "The Luzhin Defense" is the book that, of his early works, Nabokov felt 'contains and diffuses the greatest warmth'.
Publish date: June 29th 2000
Pages no: 192
Edition language: English
, Literary Fiction
, 20th Century
, Russian Literature
, Sports And Games
We find in The Luzhin Defense many of Nabokov's playful tropes: madness (monomania, solipsism), resistance to meaning (particular jabs at the "Viennese delegation"), genius outcast from society. It is apparent that his is an early work of the master, though a masterful work still. Luzhin is a remote...
Over the last few weeks I’ve read The Luzhin Defense, followed by Bluebeard and then Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?Originally I was going to write some stuff here about the central characters and compare them with the original Outsider. I was going to say things like this: Maybe it is a contra...
After reading Lolita, I knew that I'd need another book to feed my new addiction to Nabokov. Something I could read over and over. Something with his deliciously clever writing, minus the pedophilia. I had high hopes for The Defense and I enjoyed the book, but didn't quite find what I was looking fo...
Don't have a lot to say about this one. It was enjoyable, and I felt a lot of identification with the main character. On the other hand, it was a little tedious at times, and I felt the style was a little overdone. That may be because I had just read Hemingway before. I think I will re-read this...
If you are a chessplayer, like me, you simply have to read this book. No one else has even come close to describing chess obsession from the inside. The style is, needless to say, impeccable.
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