Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle by Vladimir Nabokov

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By Vladimir Nabokov

Published weeks after his 70th birthday, Ada, or Ardor is one in all Nabokov's maximum masterpieces, the fantastic fruits of his occupation as a novelist.  It tells a love tale via incest.  But extra: it's also immediately a fairy story, epic, philosophical treatise at the nature of time, parody of the background of the unconventional, and erotic catalogue.   Ada, or Ardor is not any lower than the perfect paintings of an mind's eye at white heat.

This is the 1st American version to incorporate the wide and ingeniously  sardonic appendix by way of the writer, written below the anagrammatic pseudonym Vivian Darkbloom.

From the exchange Paperback edition.

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Extra info for Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle

Sample text

Moreover, there is never any question of payment for the services rendered (although, as we have just observed, there are no fixed positions), jouissance being the only remuneration enjoyed by all parties. This jouissance is far Sexual and Textual Excess 49 more often that of the female characters than that of the male narrator. Trois Filles de leur mère can therefore be said to enrich the long tradition of innovation and inventiveness in the genre in a number of ways. At the level of content, Louÿs seems to wish to shock the female reader13 by taking the genre’s thematic conventions to new extremes – in combining incest, coprophilia, paedophilia and even zoophilia, Louÿs appears determined to outdo the most obscene of all French writers, Sade, himself.

144–5) ‘Take the ends of my breasts between your teeth and bite! And I’ll give you my cherry from in front so that you can hurt me some more with your prick, so that you can rip it, so that I’ll bleed. Now that I have drunk your come, I’m yours. Hold me tight, I’m going to come. Hold me with all your might. Crush me. ’ Decidedly, I thought to myself, Lili is the only sane one in this mélange. The other three are crazy. (p. 118) Secondly, the pleasure of transgression, which in Sade seems to depend on a respectful awareness that sin exists, takes on quite a different character in Louÿs’s writing.

69–70)). In this text, the awareness of sin, of transgression and of the reprobation of a piously Catholic society thus serves a social irony as well as at times an infantile brand of humour. ’ (p. ’ (p. 48)) – is one of those comical because vulgar and incredible tales, operating well outside the bounds of realism: «On lui a mis le derrière sur un oreiller, le con grand ouvert. j’ai fait ce qu’elle disait ... » (p. 59) ‘She put her behind up on one of the pillows with her cunt spread wide. You can believe how full my little arse was with come.

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