Podvig (Glory)

Podvig, Nabokov's fourth novel, first published in Sovremennye Zapiski (a Russian émigré journal in Paris), 1932; reprinted, Ardis, 1979; English translation by D. Nabokov in collaboration with the author published as Glory, McGraw-Hill, 1971. (Glory can be found in many public libraries and is available online from Amazon.com and from Barnes & Noble. Also published as a Penguin Classic by Penguin UK.)

"Here, this young man, for example," Uncle Henry would say, indicating Martin with his walking stick, "he has finished college, one of the most expensive colleges in the world, and you ask him what he has learned, what he is prepared for. I absolutely don't know what what he is going to do next. In my time young men became doctors, soldiers, notaries, while he is probably dreaming of becoming an aviator or a gigolo."

Martin Edelweiss, a romantic young Russian émigré, has fled with his mother from St. Petersburg to Switzerland in 1919. He attends Cambridge, falls in love with Sonia Zilanov, and travels to Berlin in pursuit of her. Martin's wistful dreams of inspiring love in Sonia lead him to attempt the pseudo-heroic feat of returning to Russia, not for political reasons, but to impress her.

"The book's - certainly very attractive - working title (later discarded in favor of the pithier Podvig, "gallant feat," "high deed") was Romaniticheskiy vek, "romantic times," which I had chosen partly because I had had enough of hearing Western journalists call our era "materialistic," "practical," "utilitarian," etc., but, mainly because the purpose of my novel, my only one with a purpose, lay in stressing the thrill and glamour that my young expatriate finds in the most ordinary pleasures as well as in the seemingly meaningless adventures of a lonely life."
Nabokov, from the foreword to the English language edition

Scholarly Criticism of Glory:

Couturier, Maurice. "Glory"
Isahaya, Yuichi. "Lights and Darkness in Nabokov's Glory"

A Bibliography of Critical Works on Glory

WORKS

MARY | KING, QUEEN, KNAVE | THE DEFENSE
GLORY | LAUGHTER IN THE DARK | DESPAIR
THE GIFT | INVITATION TO A BEHEADING | THE EYE
THE ENCHANTER | THE REAL LIFE OF SEBASTIAN KNIGHT
BEND SINISTER | LOLITA | PNIN | PALE FIRE
ADA | TRANSPARENT THINGS | LOOK AT THE HARLEQUINS!
THE ORIGINAL OF LAURA


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