Vladimir Nabokov, The Vane Sisters

Gerard J.M. De Vries (Independent Scholar - Europe)
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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 icicles and a snow-covered parking meter. That evening he meets a former colleague, D., who

1370 words

Citation: De Vries, Gerard J.M.. "The Vane Sisters". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 August 2007 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=21898, accessed 22 June 2024.]

21898 The Vane Sisters 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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