Vladimir Nabokov: Mashen'ka [Mary]

(1085 words)

Mary, Nabokov's first novel, was written in Russian in 1925, during his long period of residence in Berlin, and published there as Mashen'ka the following year (under the pen-name “V. Sirin”). When Mashen'ka was finally “Englished”, only in 1970, Nabokov seemed to have resolved to call it “Mariette”, but eventually settled for Mary which, for some reason, or so he finally decided, “seemed to match best the neutral simplicity of the Russian title name” (9). Nabokov also acknowledged, in his 1970 introduction, a similarity between his own reminiscences (now known to readers through his autobiographical Speak, Memory, 1967) and those of the protagonist of Mary – Ganin – and …

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Cornwell, Neil. "Mashen'ka". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3692, accessed 30 June 2015.]