Mary, p. 88: “he remembered the whole of the Crimean winter, 1917-1918″

July 14, 2010

Ganin remembers his time as a combatant in the northern Crimea and Yalta, the holiday resort on the shores of the Black Sea, during the momentous twelve months of 1917-1918, extending from the early days following the October Revolution and the commencement of the Russian Civil War, to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany, signed by the Bolsheviks in March, 1918, to the execution of the imperial family in July, 1918. It is interesting that Nabokov sets course of Ganin’s affair with Mary (communicated through the five letters she sent him while he was in Yalta) against the backdrop of one of the most tumultous political periods in Russian and, indeed, world history: romance, in Nabokov, often takes place against the backdrop of war and revolution.


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