"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."
MARY | KING, QUEEN, KNAVE | THE DEFENSE