Early life and work
The life of Vladimir Nabokov was marked by tragedy at an early age. He had been born into a distinguished and respectable family, his father being V.D. Nabokov - the leader of one Russia's pre-revolutionary liberal parties, as well as authoring works such The Provisional Government on criminal law and politics. However, in 1922 this all changed when his beloved Father died after shielding another man from assassination during a public meeting taken place in Berlin; despite denies any influence upon artistry later down the line it appears that theme itself would make multiple appearances within literature written by himself throughout time to come: An emotional tribute perhaps coming through each word he wrote for years afterwards out honour those memories dear him forevermore .
Before leaving his Russian homeland in 1919, Nabokov had already crafted two collections of breathtaking poetry - Poems (1916) and Two Paths (1918). His noble family was granted a scholarship that allowed the young man to attend Trinity College Cambridge. During this time he chose to switch focus from zoology studies towards those more centered on French & Russian literature; all culminating with first-class honours being awarded within 2 years! In 1923 there were further successes for Nabokov as The Cluster and The Empyrean Path collections of verse saw publication while still residing in England. Of these body's of work – later described by their author as “polished & studied” – the literary genius was always fondest after becoming an idealised exile himself.
Novels: The Defense, Lolita, and The Gift
Nabokov was a man of many talents, living and working in Germany and France between 1922-1940. His love for poetry never wavered as he devote himself to experimenting with drama during this period. He even collaborated on several unproduced motion pictures! In 1923-24 Nabokov wrote the five act play Tragediya gospodina Morna (The Tragedy of Mr. Morn) which was published posthumously years later but his passion shifted towards prose writing when Mashenka (Mary), his first novel released in 1926, became an autobiographical account chronicling Nabokov's early romance as well descriptions from family estate depicted again decades after its original appearance in Speak Memory - all reminding readers that life is fleeting yet beautiful moments linger forever..
In 1928, Vladimir Nabokov made a stylistic pivot with the release of his second novel King, Queen Knave which ignited him as one of Russia's most prominent émigré writers. Quickly afterward came The Defense -- a chess-based narrative that provided further testament to this distinction. But it was the subsequent five years in the 1930s where he truly began cementing his legacy; four novels and novella later -- namely Despair and Invitation to Beheading-- assured his status at fiction's highest level for generations beyond himself.
Nabokov spent his European emigration years in a content state of semipenury, supplementing his income from translations and teaching by appearing as an extra in films - although these are now forgotten. The money he made primarily came from the publication of small editions of Russian novels and German translations; it was only when Lolita became a bestseller that Nabokov earned significant funds for one book. During this period, he also wrote 18 scientific papers on entomology which provided enough resources to allow him go butterfly-hunting expeditions between projects! All while being supported throughout by Véra Evseyevna Slonim whom he married back 1925.
After the tragedy of his Russian home, Nabokov placed all of his trust in memories and art as a form of 'unreal estate'. He never settled down to purchase property but instead resided within numerous rented abodes while scholars were away on sabbatical. Little did he know that Lolita would catapult him into extraordinary wealth; yet even after great fame was bestowed upon him, he chose to live modestly with his wife and son at an elegant yet run-down Swiss hotel.
Through the vehicle of his works, Vladimir Nabokov created powerful narratives that examined fundamental questions concerning art - from The Defense's exploration of chess as an artistic pursuit to Invitation To A Beheading’s politically-charged look at creativity. His plays Sobytiye and The Waltz Invention further revealed this central theme, while in Russian masterpiece The Gift he explored a young artist’s journey into the mysterious depths post WWI Berlin. Through these often veiled narratives, Nabokov invited us all on a thought provoking journey around ‘the problem of art itself'.
Vladimir Nabokov has been long recognized for his masterful works, from The Gift to Lolita. His first novels in English — The Real Life of Sebastian Knight (1941) and Bend Sinister ( 1947) — may not be as renowned as some of his Russian literature, but Pale Fire ( 1962 ) displays an impressive display of unconventional structure that he had refined with the help of Solus Rex , a novel serialized during 1940 which was never completed . Lastly, there is Lolita—a unique examination on love through its seeming opposite: lechery; featuring Humbert Humbert—an antihero driven by an all-consuming passion towards young girls.
Later works and influence of Vladimir Nabokov
With an irreverent book about Nikolay Gogol (1944) and a four-volume translation of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin (1964), Nabokov established himself as one of the most respected literary critics in Europe. In 1967, he published what would become his landmark work - Speak Memory - detailing his European years; soon after, he began piecing together its American counterpart, entitled 'Speak On'.
As his acclaim soared in the 1930s, Vladimir Nabokov encountered fierce criticism due to his unconventional style and subject matter. However, acclaimed Russian critic Vladislav Khodasevich insisted that Nabokov's elite perspective was simply fitting for puzzling questions of art hidden under allegory.
Nabokov's literary legacy has been subject to strong divisions throughout the world. He was regarded highly by Russian émigrés in Europe between 1919-1939 and received recognition of his unique contribution to European literature, garnering a status that had not yet been seen among other contemporary authors. Upon arrival in America he shifted from writing primarily in Russian language and cultivated an English audience -- leading to steadily growing admiration which peaked during the 70s decade.