Speak, Memory

Conclusive Evidence: A Memoir, Harper, 1951 (published in England as Speak Memory: A Memoir, Gollancz, 1951); revised edition by the author published in Russian as Drugiye Berega ("Other Shores"), Izdatelstvo Imeni Chekhova, 1954, reprinted, Ardis, 1978; expanded English language edition published as Speak Memory: An Autobiography Revisited, Putnam, 1966. (Speak, Memory can be found in many public libraries and is available online from Amazon.com and from Barnes & Noble.)

"The following of such thematic designs through one's life should be, I think, the true purpose of autobiography."

Speak, Memory, a literary autobiography like no other, is primarily concerned with Nabokov's life prior to his emigration to America in 1940. It is not a traditional chronological sequence of dates and facts, but, rather, Nabokov's memory of certain events thematically linked to the creation of himself as an artist. A charming, detailed, and compulsively readable work, Speak, Memory acts as an invaluable echo or reflection of Nabokov's fiction.

A second volume of memoirs, to have been called Speak On, Memory, was never completed.

"... his recollections are those of a man who has deliberately cultivated memory for the sake of the polished fragments it can salvage from the past."
Margaret Lane

A Bibliography of Critical Works on Speak, Memory

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