starlady: An octopus solving a Rubik's cube.  (original of the species)
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I have never read Nabokov, and it strikes me that starting with this book (1969) is entering the master's oeuvre through the back door. Well, I liked it, though having scraped it up out of Michael Chabon's Maps and Legends, in which Chabon calls it "proto-steampunk" or something similar, I came to it with perhaps unusual expectations.

The book follows the exploits of one Van Veen, and his cousin (secretly sister) Ada Veen, and their eight-decade love affair, around the world by aeroplane, helicopter, zeppelin, ship, and practically every other manner of transportation possible, including clockwork carriage. On Nabokov's "Antiterra," Louis XVI emigrated to England, which annexed France in 1815; the predominant religion in America is apparently Hinduism; Judaism is a recently-invented offshoot of Christianity (which is mostly Greek Orthodox); Russia has mostly upped stakes to America, while what we think of as "Russia" is the province, roughly equally, of Tartars and Mongols; President Lincoln remarried after his first wife's death late in his second term; the black discoverers of Mississippi form the establishment in the South; our "Terra" is the collective dream (or nightmare) of psychiatric patients and prophets, madmen all; and clockwork technology was perfected by the eighteenth century and rejected in religious fervor by the nineteenth, so that in 1888 Van and Ada's mother films a movie at their ancestral home of Ardis Hall.

...the dissimilarities only confirmed the live organic reality pertaining to the other world; )

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