The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, Nabokov's tenth novel, and first written in English, New Directions, 1941; reprinted, Penguin, 1964. (The Real Life of Sebastian Knight can be found in many public libraries and is available online from Amazon.com and from Barnes & Noble.)

"The only real number is one, the rest are mere repetition."

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight details the research and composition of a biography of the deceased English novelist, Sebastian Knight, by his half-brother, "V." In searching for the truth behind Sebastians' life, V. seeks to discover the identity suggested by the facts.

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight was Nabokov's first completed novel in English. It was written in a tiny apartment in Paris in 1938, and carried to America when the Nabokov family emigrated in 1941.

"In its own most individual way this variation on the dual themes of real identity and literary biography is a little masterpiece of cerebration and execution."
Iris Barry

"The Real Life of Sebastian Knight is one of those rare masterpieces, rare and glinted, fast beyond irony."
Conrad Brenner

Scholarly Criticism of The Real Life of Sebastian Knight:

Begnal, Michael H. "The Fledgling Fictionalist"
Demoss, John. "The 'Real' Real Life: Sebastian Knight and the Critics"
A Bibliography of Critical Works on The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

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


Zembla depends on frames for navigation. If you have been referred to this page without the surrounding frame, click here.