Invitation to A Beheading

Invitation to A Beheading

Book - 1989
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Random House, Inc.
Like Kafka's The Castle, Invitation to a Beheading embodies a vision of a bizarre and irrational world. In an unnamed dream country, the young man Cincinnatus C. is condemned to death by beheading for "gnostical turpitude," an imaginary crime that defies definition. Cincinnatus spends his last days in an absurd jail, where he is visited by chimerical jailers, an executioner who masquerades as a fellow prisoner, and by his in-laws, who lug their furniture with them into his cell. When Cincinnatus is led out to be executed, he simply wills his executioners out of existence: they disappear, along with the whole world they inhabit.

Baker & Taylor
As the judge whispers the death sentence to Cincinnatus, a torturous period of waiting begins

Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1989, c1959
Edition: 1st Vintage international ed
ISBN: 9780679725312
0679725318
Branch Call Number: F NAB
Characteristics: 223 p. ; 21 cm

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lukasevansherman
Jun 12, 2015

That's one invitation you might not want to RSVP to! An early, somewhat unformed novel by the author of "Lolita." Nabokov and his family fled Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution, settled in Berlin, where he composed this, and then fled the Nazis. "Invitation to a Beheading" was written in Russian and originally published serially in a Paris magazine. Many reviewers compared it to Kafka, but Nabokov, in the introduction, said he hadn't read any Kafka yet. This edition was translated by Nabokov and his son Dmitri and Nabokov's later, more famous books were written in English. This novel, one of his few political ones (although he claimed to disdain politics) is for the serious Nabokov reader only. He called it "a violin in a void."

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