The breaking of the wave cannot explain the whole sea": First Edition of Vladimir Nabokov's The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

  • The Real Life of Sebastian Knight.

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight.


Item Number: 73096

Norfolk, CT: New Directions, 1941.

First edition of Nabokov’s first novel published in English, one of only 1,500 copies printed. Octavo, original burlap weave. In fine condition. A very nice example.

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight is a perversely magical literary detective story -- subtle, intricate, leading to a tantalizing climax -- about the mysterious life of a famous writer. Many people knew things about Sebastian Knight as a distinguished novelist, but probably fewer than a dozen knew of the two love affairs that so profoundly influenced his career, the second one in such a disastrous way. After Knight's death, his half brother sets out to penetrate the enigma of his life, starting with a few scanty clues in the novelist's private papers. His search proves to be a story as intriguing as any of his subject's own novels, as baffling, and, in the end, as uniquely rewarding.

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