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Book Title: Obrona Łużyna|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 21.10 MB
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The author of the book: Vladimir Nabokov
Date of issue: 2005
ISBN 13: 9788373195837
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Reader ratings: 5.6
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It’s Never Too Late for a Happy Childhood
A boy who doesn’t want to grow up; a mother who loses interest in him as he does; a father who writes an idealised version of the boy’s life in which he doesn’t; and an agent who values only his client’s youthfulness: clearly not the best conditions for psychic maturation; but hardly signs of abuse.
The boy finds his solace and calling in the game of chess: “everything apart from chess was an enchanting dream... Real life, chess life, was orderly, clear cut, and rich in adventure.” In this life he was safe and secure as well as internationally famous.
The death of the boy’s father, in some sense a sign of forced adulthood, is resisted. The boy won’t attend the funeral. Instead he falls in love, with a woman who possesses that “mysterious ability in her soul to apprehend in life only that which had attracted and tormented her in childhood... to find constantly an intolerable and tender pity for the creature whose life is helpless and unhappy...” A perfect match, therefore: she a compulsive caretaker; he the eternal child. Whether either or both is psychotic or merely neurotic when they meet is an open question.
What could possibly go wrong?
Marriage brings with it a new adult provider, the father-in-law, and a new tender carer in his wife. But it also brings something unfortunate, the recognition of the “full horror of the abysmal depths of chess.”
He has a breakdown. His wife and his doctor begin to explore his “dark period of spiritual blindness,” that is, his childhood. But it is clear to the reader that his condition is not the result of childhood trauma. Rather it is his desire to remain in a re-created childhood, free from the cares and sufferings of life outside of chess, and his fear of being removed from it, that is the cause of his distress.
Part of his therapy is complete isolation from chess. The wife knows it was necessary to find “some other interesting game.” But socialising, travel, typing, water-colouring can’t fill the chess-shaped hole in his soul. The result, of course, is that his highly functional life playing chess becomes a psychotic disaster in which he can no longer distinguish his life from the game that gave it meaning and coherence.
It’s often possible to detect who’s being helped through analysis by the haunted look in their eyes. Thank you Dr. Freud.
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Read information about the authorRussian: Владимир Владимирович Набоков .
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, also known by the pen name Vladimir Sirin, was a Russian-American novelist. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist. He also made significant contributions to lepidoptery and had an interest in chess problems.
Nabokov's Lolita (1955) is frequently cited as his most important novel, and is at any rate his most widely known one, exhibiting the love of intricate wordplay and descriptive detail that characterized all his works.
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