Vladimir Nabokov: The Vane Sisters

(1370 words)
  • Gerard J.M. De Vries (Independent Scholar - Europe)

According to his biographer, “The Vane Sisters” ranks as “one of Nabokov’s finest” stories (Brian Boyd, Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years, p. 194), and it has received quite considerable critical attention.

“The Vane Sisters” was written in 1951, after Nabokov had finished the first version of his autobiographical Speak, Memory (entitled at that time Conclusive Evidence). Rejected by The New Yorker, it was first published only in 1959. The story, which is less than twenty pages long, has seven sections. The first of these captivates the reader by the astonishingly acute and vivid observations made by the narrator, a college professor, on a sunny winter’s afternoon about i…

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De Vries, Gerard J.M.. "The Vane Sisters". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 August 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=21898, accessed 30 September 2016.]