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    The AtlanticVladimir Nabokov6/1/4116 min
    6 reads3 comments
    The Atlantic
    6 reads
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    • DellwoodBarker
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 week ago

      Wow! What a sucker-punch of an ending that brings to mind the gritty turmoil of 1984. An inner laundry tumble of tears, anger, and that final sentence of rushing, cleansing waters.

      Halfway through I was thinking 8 or 9. Then Reaching this moment and everything after:

      Without reasoning, without considering, only entirely surrendering to an attraction the truth of which consisted in its own strength, a strength which he had never experienced before, Vasili Ivanovich in one radiant second realized that here in this little room with that view, beautiful to the verge of tears, life would at last be what he had always wished it to be. What exactly it would be like, what would take place here, that of course he did not know, but all around him were help, promise, and consolation—so that there could not be any doubt that he must live here. In a moment he figured out how he would manage it so as not to have to return to Berlin again, how to get the few possessions that he had—books, the blue suit, her photograph. How simple it was turning out! As my representative, he was earning enough for the modest life of a refugee Russian.

      ‘My friends,’ he cried, having run down again to the meadow by the shore, ‘my friends, good-bye. I shall remain for good in that house over there. We can't travel together any longer. I shall go no farther. I am not going anywhere. Good-bye!’

      ‘How is that?’ said the leader in a queer voice, after a short pause, during which the smile on the lips of Vasili Ivanovich slowly faded, while the people who had been sitting on the grass half-rose and stared at him with stony eyes.

      ‘But why?’ he faltered. ‘It is here that ...’

      ‘I shall complain,’ wailed Vasili Ivanovich. ‘Give me back my bag. I have the right to remain where I want. Oh, but this is nothing less than an invitation to a beheading’ —he told me he cried when they seized him by the arms.

      Elevates to a 10.

    • TripleG
      Reading streakScout
      1 week ago

      Absolute 10.

    • Pegeen
      Top reader this weekScoutScribe
      2 weeks ago

      I have become so smitten by Nabokov. He is the king of description and of dark humor. Each word, each scene - priceless. A true master. Like taking a hit of weed!