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Thursday, April 19, 2007

That in Aleppo Once... by Vladimir Nabokov

This story is in the form of a story or letter written to a man's friend in his voice. He tells of his marriage and honeymoon trip. "Although I can produce documentary proofs of my matrimony, I am positive now that my wife never existed." The voice of the narrator is almost schizophrenic in that he beleives that he is married, that he took a trip with his wife, and then got off when there was a ten minute stop only to come back to find the train gone and everyone that he meets from then on think he is crazy. He makes it back to his home town only to find his wife at the entrance of a food store and the first thing she says is that "she hoped it was oranges" (being sold). Then she changes her story and says she was elsewhere all the while he is "crushing and crushing the mad molar till [his] jaw almost burst with pain"
The story line is both serious and comical and the reader isn't sure if they are to be smiling and quitely giggling to themselves or if they should be fretting what the outcome might be.
One paragraph puts much of this writer's narrative into perspective:
"And mark, in between the periods of this inquest we were trying to get from reluctant authorities certain papers on the strength of which one might hope to obtain other papers which in their turn would make it lawful to apply for a third kind which would serve as a steppingstone towards a permit enabling the holder to apply for the other papers which might or might not give him the means of discovering how and why it had happened."
This is definately one of the most fun stories I have read...

1 comment:

shersy said...

Convoluted! I'm curious to see how it ends!