Thursday, December 24, 2009

Laughter in the Dark (32/81)

An early Nabokov novel about a man named Albinus, a well-to-do German businessman who becomes infatuated with a callow younger woman. There are some similarities here with Pandora's Box or "Der Blaue Engel" (for fans of Weimar Cinema) in this story of a rather pompous individual brought low by his romantic entanglement with a younger woman.

Overall, it's a fairly tragic story, as Albinus loses first his marriage, then his daughter, then, in quick succession, his sight, dignity, fortune and life. It has its moments of humor and unique prose. Though hardly as brilliant or radical as Nabokov's later works, Laughter in the Dark is still a well-crafted narrative of one man's folly.

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