If I were not perfectly sure of my power to write and of my marvelous ability to express ideas with the utmost grace and vividness…
This might be the first Classic (is it a classic, or is the author only considered a Classic-writer because of Lolita?) that really disappointed and angered me. I really hope there is a big difference between the main character and Vladimir Nabokov, because else I’m calling an author a super selfish airhead. No matter how much “satire” is involved.
The majority of the book is about Hermann Hermann and how incredibly smart, stealthy and smooth he is while everyone around him are paupers, silly and beneath him. He writes a story about how he discovers his almost perfect döppelganger, but writes more about his own life and how he thinks through every word and way of writing because he’s Intelligent.
Despair is sold as satire and darkly humorous, but is nothing more than a monologue about the amazing main character. Not even the “dark turn” can save it.
Despair, Vladimir Nabokov, Putnam 1965