Vladimir Nabokov: Transparent Things

(2068 words)

Transparent Things was published in 1972, two years before Nabokov’s last novel, Look at the Harlequins!. Following on from the exotic epic Ada (1969), Transparent Things seems at first to be obtusely slight and inconsequential, its twenty-six chapters comprising, in the American Vintage edition, just over 100 pages. The novel’s hero, Hugh Person, pales in the shadow cast by Ada’s decadent and extravagant protagonists. Unlike the sophisticated and manipulative Van Veen, he is a “sentimental simpleton”, a misfit, a man persistently out of his depth, afflicted by irrational fears and compromised at every turn.

Set alternately in New York and Witt, a small ski …

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Wyllie, Barbara. "Transparent Things". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 November 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8434, accessed 01 July 2015.]