The Return of Chorb


The Return of Chorb

infobox Book |
name = The Return of Chorb
title_orig =
translator = 1. Gleb Struve, 2. Vladimir Nabokov


image_caption =
author = Vladimir Nabokov
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country =
language = Russian
series =
genre = Short story
publisher =
release_date = 1929
english_release_date = 1. 1932, 2. 1976
media_type =
pages =
isbn =
preceded_by =
followed_by =

The Return of Chorb is a short story by Vladimir Nabokov written in Russian under his pen name Vladimir Sirin in Berlin in 1925. In 1929 it became part of a collection of fifteen short stories and twenty-four poems also called Vozvrashchenie Chorba ("The Return of Chorb") in Russian by "V. Sirin".

English translation

After its publication in the Russian emigre press the story was translated into English by Gleb Struve as "The Return of Tchorb" and published in the Paris magazine "This Quarter" in 1932. More than four decades later Nabokov retranslated the story, as he found Struve's translation "not accurate enough and far removed from my present use of English", and incorporated the story in the collection "Details of a Sunset and Other Stories" in 1976. The two English translations are very different and represent an interesting study on Nabokov's theory of translation. [ [http://www.fathom.com/feature/121875/index.html Robert Meyer. Nabokov: A Case Study in the Art of Translation] , accessed 04-29-2008]

Plot summary

The Kellers are a bourgeois couple living in a smaller German town whose daughter has married the Russian emigre writer Chorb. The distrust between Chorb and his father-in-law is deepened when Chorb and his bride escape from the formality of their wedding to spent their first night at a local seedy hotel. On the honeymoon, the bride accidentally touches a live electric wire near Nice and dies. Chorb now returns to recreate her image by visiting the sites they had spend together and to tell her parents. Arriving in the evening he only finds the maid at the Keller's home who have gone to the opera to see Parsifal. Chorb does not want to break the news to her and tells her that his bride is ill and he will be back in the morning. He returns to the hotel to spend the night in the same room he had been with his wife. Unable to stay in the room alone, he pays a prostitute to stay with him. When the Kellers get home, they are too alarmed to wait for the morning and leave for the hotel. There, during the night, Chorb sees his wife in the prostitute, screams, and the terrified woman is about to leave: at this moment the Kellers arrive.

Comments

"The Return of Chorb", one of the earliest short stories of Nabokov, contains a complicated structure due to the non-linear narrative and the built-up to a confrontation between Chorb and Keller that is ultimately withheld from the reader. The unnamed bride of Chorb has a supernatural, quasi spectral presence in the story underlined by the matter of her death through electricity and the ghost-like appearance of the prostitute when Chorb sees in her his wife. [ [http://www.geocities.com/pasaudela2004/Panurge-Pantagruel/Nabokov/index.html Matt A. Christie. The White Line: on Nabokov's Female Characters] , accessed 04-30-2008]

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov — (in some British editions, The Collected Stories) is a posthumous collection of every known short story that Vladimir Nabokov ever wrote, with the exception of The Enchanter . The thirteen stories not previously published in English are… …   Wikipedia

  • The Original of Laura —   …   Wikipedia

  • The Potato Elf — ( Kartofel nyy el f ) is a short story written in Russian by Vladimir Nabokov in Berlin where it was first published in the émigré daily Rul in 1929 and then included in 1929 collection Vozvrashchenie Chorba ( The Return of Chorb ). It was… …   Wikipedia

  • Notes on Prosody — The book Notes on Prosody by polyglot author Vladimir Nabokov compares differences in iambic verse in the English and Russian languages, and highlights the effect of relative word length in the two languages on rhythm. Nabokov also proposes an… …   Wikipedia

  • Details of a Sunset and Other Stories —   …   Wikipedia

  • List of works by Vladimir Nabokov — This is a complete list of works by writer Vladimir Nabokov. Fiction Novels and novellas Novels and novellas written in Russian * (1926) Mashen ka (Машенька); English translation: Mary (1970) * (1928) Korol Dama Valet (Король, дама, валет);… …   Wikipedia

  • Lolita — This article is about the novel by Vladimir Nabokov. For other uses, see Lolita (disambiguation). Clare Quilty redirects here. For the band, see Clare Quilty (group). Lolita …   Wikipedia

  • Vladimir Nabokov — This article is about the novelist. For his father, the politician, see Vladimir Dmitrievich Nabokov. This name uses Eastern Slavic naming customs; the patronymic is Vladimirovich and the family name is Nabokov. Vladimir Nabokov Nabokov in 1969 …   Wikipedia

  • Nabokov's Congeries — 1st edition (publ. Viking Press) Nabokov s Congeries was a collection of work by Vladimir Nabokov published in 1968 and reprinted in 1971 as The Portable Nabokov. Because Nabokov supervised its production less than a decade before he died, it is… …   Wikipedia

  • Nine Stories (Nabokov) — 1st edition Nine Stories is an English language collection of stories written in Russian, French, and English by Vladimir Nabokov. It was published in 1947 by New Directions in New York City, as the second issue of a serial, Direction. The nine… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.