The Luzhin Defence

The Luzhin Defence Vladimir Nabokov s early novel is the dazzling story of the coarse strange yet oddly endearing chess playing genius Luzhin Discovering his prodigious gift in boyhood and rising to the rank of interna

  • Title: The Luzhin Defence
  • Author: Vladimir Nabokov
  • ISBN: 9780141196930
  • Page: 370
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Vladimir Nabokov s early novel is the dazzling story of the coarse, strange yet oddly endearing chess playing genius Luzhin Discovering his prodigious gift in boyhood and rising to the rank of international Grandmaster, Luzhin develops a lyrical passion for chess that renders the real world a phantom As he confronts the fiery, swift swooping Italian Grandmaster, Turati,Vladimir Nabokov s early novel is the dazzling story of the coarse, strange yet oddly endearing chess playing genius Luzhin Discovering his prodigious gift in boyhood and rising to the rank of international Grandmaster, Luzhin develops a lyrical passion for chess that renders the real world a phantom As he confronts the fiery, swift swooping Italian Grandmaster, Turati, he brings into play his carefully devised defence Making masterly play of metaphor and imagery, The Luzhin Defense is the book that, of his early works, Nabokov felt contains and diffuses the greatest warmth.

    One thought on “The Luzhin Defence”

    1. One of the things I like most about Nabokov’s novels is the structure, and this one has a particularly interesting structure.At the beginning of chapter nine which is roughly half way through the book, two new characters appear out of nowhere, two young Berliners who are trying to return home after a hard night on the town. Both of them continued farther along the deserted night street, which alternately rose up smoothly to the stars and then sloped down again.That deserted night street could [...]

    2. The combination of Chess and Nabokov seemed to me a match made in heaven, a big fan of both, this was just too tempting to turn down, even though I knew it would take something pretty remarkable to reach the heights of either 'Pale Fire' or 'Lolita', I still felt like reading what is one of his earlier Russian novels (his third written in 1930) before he embarked on his American odyssey. The Luzhin Defence is a book that does features chess, but doesn't delve too deeply into the actual playing o [...]

    3. It’s Never Too Late for a Happy ChildhoodA 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, [...]

    4. If you are a chessplayer, like me, you simply have to read this book. No one else has even come close to describing chess obsession from the inside. The style is, needless to say, impeccable.

    5. Δεν ξέρω από που να αρχίσω με το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο!! Από την εξαίσια γραφή και γλώσσα του Ναμπόκοφ, από τις πολυεπίπεδες αναλύσεις ή από τους ιδιαίτερους χαρακτήρες που πλαισιώνουν τον νεαρό Λούζιν;;; Μάλλον όλα τα παραπάνω συνθέτουν ένα αριστούργημα της παγκόσμιας λογοτ [...]

    6. "Let's start if you're willing." -- Vladimir Nabokov, The Luzhin DefenseG.K. Chesterton once famously quipped in his book Orthodoxy that "Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom."Vladimir Nabokov’s th!rd novel about a lonely chess grandmaster reminds me ofFranz Kafka and a little bit of Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener. While this isn't my [...]

    7. Ah Nabokov, your words are like the warm familiar embrace of an ex-lover who knows just what I like . . . except without all the self-disgust the next day.

    8. We find in The Luzhin Defense many of Nabokov's playful tropes: madness (monomania, solipsism), resistance to meaning (particular jabs at the "Viennese delegation"), genius outcast from society. It is apparent that his is an early work of the master, though a masterful work still. Luzhin is a remote but somehow lovable obsessive. Our affection for him has true potential, perhaps a potential unusual for the typical Nabokovian protagonist. But that affection is abated by our narrative distance fro [...]

    9. واااااای فوق العاده بودهمه چیز این کتاب فوق العاده است بنظرم یک شاهکار ادبی را همین حالا تموم کردم. ناباکوف انگار نشسته و با کافکا و فروید و بکت، شطرنج بازی میکنه. بارها فروید رو کیش میده و با بکت و کافکا مساوی میکنه. نمیخوام که نقد ادبی و یا ساختاری بنویسم در آخر کتاب جناب آقای [...]

    10. A young boy, a loner, indifferent to everything, discovers chess. Ensnared by this insanely addictive game, he becomes even more indifferent to everything--except chess. He grows up, becomes a champion, many of his games considered "immortals." In a championship game against the equally-brilliant Italian Grandmaster Turati, upon adjourning a very difficult position, he suffers a breakdown. He survives, but the doctors opine that further chess might be fatal to him. Enough of the plot. I have bee [...]

    11. Not as impressive as Lolita, but still a solid read. Mostly, I was bored and confused with the direction of the plot. Well, almost non-existent plot. Luzhin is supposed to be compelling and intriguing, but he's non of the above. Also, the ending isn't even nearly satisfying and I feel like I'm left hanging. This is a story about an obsessed chess player who doesn't distinguish reality from imagination. Basically, the plot deals with the story of a genius, whose perception of life entwines with c [...]

    12. Over the last few weeks I’ve read The Luzhin Defense, followed by Bluebeard and then Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?Originally I was going to write some stuff here about the central characters and compare them with the original Outsider. I was going to say things like this: Maybe it is a contradiction in terms, to put 3 books about outsiders in the same review, but I can’t stop myself.We have here a chess player, a doctor who might or might not have murdered a wife and a chickenhead. Th [...]

    13. Hands-up: I read some of this at bullet-train speed because I had to return it to the library. Yes, I could have withdrawn it again, but there were only fifty-odd pages left and some new Foster Wallace was in that set my hands a-twitchin’ and my brain a-spinnin’.So I didn’t let the sumptuous prose slowly unfold, I didn’t delicately caress his sentences with the same narcissistic mania the author bestowed upon his own works. But there wasn’t much sumptuousness here, anyway. His third no [...]

    14. Dalla parte di Lužin.…E accorgersi all'improvviso, con un sorriso che gela sulla labbra, rabbrividendo, che la vita è tutta «una iterazione combinatoria di mosse», osservare, «con vaga ammirazione e con vago orrore con quanta paurosa raffinatezza, con quanta flessibilità, mossa dopo mossa, si fossero ripetute nel tempo le immagini della sua infanzia (casa di campagna, città, scuola, zia pietroburghese)», in un continuo cercare di giocare e rigiocare a memoria la partita della propria v [...]

    15. If Nabokov's second novel reminded me of one of my favorite writers—Marcel Proust—his third, The Luzhin Defense, brings to mind another: Virginia Woolf. Given that The Luzhin Defense concerns the gradual mental disintegration of a Russian chess grandmaster, and given that Nabokov had apparently not yet read Woolf (when he did, in 1933, he claimed a low opinion of her work), its Woolfian overtones are a bit surprising. But consider this passage, in which the now-middle-aged Luzhin remembers h [...]

    16. رضایی عالیناباکف بی نقصتنها از شطرنج نابلدی خود سخت خشمگینم

    17. After reading Lolita, I knew that I'd need another book to feed my new addiction to Nabokov. Something I could read over and over. Something with his deliciously clever writing, minus the pedophilia. I had high hopes for The Defense and I enjoyed the book, but didn't quite find what I was looking for. I'm not sure if some of his writing genius was lost in translation, it was written in Russian then translated to English, or if it was simply that in the 25 years spanning the works he became a bet [...]

    18. Ο Λούζιν είναι ένας άνθρωπος με πάθος.Και το μεγάλο πάθος του είναι το σκάκι. Ένα τόσο μαγευτικό και δύσκολο παιχνίδι που αποτελεί έναν κόσμο μόνο του. Μόνο στο άκουσμα της λέξης "σκάκι", ο Λούζιν σκέφτεται κινήσεις και συνδυασμούς για να αποκρυπτογραφήσει τον αντίπαλό του, [...]

    19. Primarily I decided to read "The Luzhin Defense" as Vladimir Nabokov's sixth novel (after "Pnin," "King, Queen, Knave," "Lolita," "Laughter in the Dark" and "Transparent Things") for two reasons, (1) I'd like to read one of his novels and compare it to his "Lolita," and (2) I liked its reader-friendly fonts which I found more relaxing and easier to read than some of those published by Penguin or other English paperback publishing companies in general. However, a bit disappointed by its plot and [...]

    20. Ο νεαρός Λούζιν στρέφεται στο σκάκι μόνο και μόνο για να αποφύγει να κοιτάξει κατάματα τη Μέδουσα της πραγματικότητας. Στα 64 τετράγωνα διοχετεύει όλη του την ενέργεια. Το ταλέντο που κουβαλάει τον οδηγεί στην κορυφή. Όμως η κορυφή δεν ταιριάζει σε άτομα εκκεντρικά, θλιμμέν [...]

    21. Un Nabokov da altissimi livelliRimuginavo da qualche giorno cosa mi ricordasse (non dico nella trama, ma nelle atmosfere cerebrali) Visioni, che ho appena finito di leggere. Ecco, finalmente si è accesa la lampadina! L'ossessione per la perfezione estetica (non è forse una forma d'arte il gioco degli scacchi?), la sublimazione della mente fuori dalla corporeità, l'inadeguatezza della genialità al mondo della materia; e anche il finale ha lo stesso tono apocalittico, il suo stesso anelito per [...]

    22. Nearly five stars, nearlyThose who know any obsessively compulsive persons will really appreciate the effort Nabokov went into for this. When you become so engrossed in your fixation that you begin to question what is reality. Of course I would never use this as a guide to dealing with loved ones who have OCD or whatever, but it was insightful into another aspect of the mind of the human. I have addictive tendencies, so perhaps I am lucky I never got into any activities like chess seriously. Of [...]

    23. mycosyreads/2015/Моя попытка получше узнать настоящего, не лолитинского Набокова, а свободного от нависающей «славы» скандального романа. Язык все такой же замечательно «вкусный», сюжет интересен и захватывает. Но что-то все равно было не так. Тяжело мне дался Лужин – не исключен [...]

    24. Определенное и однозначное отличие великой книги от просто хорошей - это то, что ты погружаешься в нее настолько, что перестаешь замечать окружающую реальность. И когда закрываешь книгу, то еще несколько секунд с удивлением оглядываешься, где это ты и что здесь вообще прои [...]

    25. „მაგრამ სადღა იყო ალექსანდრ ივანოვიჩი.“❤️

    26. Η ιστορία του Λουζιν ξεκινάει από μικρή ηλικία που δείχνει οτι δε του πάει και πολύ η ζωή, είναι μελαγχολικός, δεν έχει ενδιαφέροντα και φίλους, απλά τριγυρνάει και αναπνέει. (ταύτιση) Αυτό μέχρι να έρθει σε επαφή με το σκάκι, οπου ξεκινάει μια ιστορία αγάπης μεγαλύτερη απ'τη [...]

    27. جنگل خاموش و نمناک بود. گریه ی سیری کرد و بعد مدتی با یک سوسک بازی کرد که شاخک هایش را با حالتی عصبی تکان می داد، و مدتی هم طول کشید تا آن را با سنگ له کند، چون می خواست همان صدای له شدن اولیه تکرار شود.

    28. Όπως ξέρουν να γράφουν μονάχα οι Γερμανοί και οι Ρώσοι κλασσικοί συγγραφείς

    29. A story of an ill fated chess genius. This quote by Oscar Levant pretty much sums it up: "There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line."

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