The Tragedy of Mister Morn

Vladimir Nabokov

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The Tragedy of Mister Morn

The Tragedy of Mister Morn Morn a masked king rules over a realm to which he has restored order after a violent revolution Secretly in love with Midia the wife of a banished revolutionary Morn finds himself facing renewed b

  • Title: The Tragedy of Mister Morn
  • Author: Vladimir Nabokov
  • ISBN: 9780141196329
  • Page: 138
  • Format: Paperback
  • Morn, a masked king, rules over a realm to which he has restored order after a violent revolution Secretly in love with Midia, the wife of a banished revolutionary, Morn finds himself facing renewed bloodshed and disaster when Midia s husband returns, provoking a duel and the return of chaos that Morn has fought so hard to prevent.The first major work of Vladimir Nabokov,Morn, a masked king, rules over a realm to which he has restored order after a violent revolution Secretly in love with Midia, the wife of a banished revolutionary, Morn finds himself facing renewed bloodshed and disaster when Midia s husband returns, provoking a duel and the return of chaos that Morn has fought so hard to prevent.The first major work of Vladimir Nabokov, author of Lolita and Pnin, The Tragedy of Mister Morn is translated and published in English here for the first time, and is a moving study of the elusiveness of happiness, the power of imagination and the eternal battle between truth and fantasy.

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      138 Vladimir Nabokov
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      Posted by:Vladimir Nabokov
      Published :2019-01-11T04:21:54+00:00

    One thought on “The Tragedy of Mister Morn

    1. Adam Floridia on said:

      I lied, . I've been "currently-reading" this for about three weeks; actually, I started it yesterday and finished it in about three hours. Having come off of a lackluster reading year in 2013, the opening line of the introduction alone was enough to make me tingle oh-so-slightly with excitement: "The Tragedy of Mister Morn was Vladimir Nabokov's first major work, and the laboratory in which he discovered and tested many of the themes he would subsequently develop in the next fifty-odd years" (vi [...]

    2. Ailsa on said:

      Just bought this for $6 at a discount bookstore. Am I the only one who has never heard of this particular Nabokov before?

    3. Jennifer Richardson on said:

      This is a newly republished/retranslated version of Nabokov's first play, written when he was only 24. The verse, characters, and content are very Shakespearean - there is a tone of both tragedy and comedy, playfulness and seriousness, dripping from every verse. I was able to tank through this play in a few hours. Having been embarrassingly baffled by many of Nabokov's metaphors, layers, and allusions in other works, I was pleasantly surprised to feel like I was "catching" most of his literary t [...]

    4. Hamish on said:

      Probably my favorite of N's plays, which came as a surprise given how early in his artistic development it was written. It's a shame that it's missing a significant chunk of the last act (which the book jacket fails to warn you about), but what's here is generally very good, sprinkled with greatness. Like The Waltz Invention, it's somewhat surrealistic. In the first act's party scene (by far my favorite), a character wanders through who is dreaming that he is in the play and keeps disappearing a [...]

    5. Amanda Minchella on said:

      i have an interesting relationship with nabokov, but i am so glad i picked up this play on a whim. it's tragic *duh* but beautifully so, delicate even. it's themes are apparent, though i felt never fully resolved, perhaps due to missing/lost excerpts towards the end of act v. nabokov's exploration of the idea(l)s of happiness, love/lust, and fantasy vs reality are at work simultaneously. i did find the fantasy bit not much my taste, but his struggle, and the character's struggles, with happiness [...]

    6. David Haws on said:

      I suspect that it may have been more than oversight, which caused Nabokov to neglect translating this play into English. Still I haven’t read many plays since finishing my first undergraduate degree, and the play’s failings may be more accurately ascribed to my own limited imagination. The work does contain occasional glimpses into what Nabokov’s prose would become, but not more than I might expect in comparable juvenilia.

    7. Steve Mossberg on said:

      Regardless of the missing text at the culmination of the plot, this is an interesting and idiosyncratic play in the tradition of late Shakespeare. The translation has plenty of beauty and bite, and the analysis in the forward is comprehensive and succinct.

    8. Full Stop on said:

      full-stop/2013/04/01/rReview by Rodney WelchVladimir Nabokov never hid the fact that he didn’t really have his chops as a writer for the stage. “By nature, I am no dramatist,” he wrote in his introduction to the screenplay for Lolita — a judgment he earned over the course of several labored attempts.Nabokov’s career as a playwright occurred mostly in Berlin in the 1920s and 1930s when, having fled Russia with little more than the clothes on his back, he was doing everything he could to [...]

    9. Cameron on said:

      For a play that sat unpublished in its own language for over seventy years and is only now, another fifteen years later, been published in English for the first time The Tragedy of Mister Morn holds up quite nicely. Nabokov would have been in his early twenties when he wrote this, in fact it would probably have been among his earliest works, and already we see his intriguing love of language shining through.The masked king brings peace to his kingdom, and as Morn he walks unnoticed throughout it [...]

    10. Rick on said:

      I am a huge fan of Nabokov; I would consider him my favorite author. But this book just did not do it for me. I certainly enjoy his novels more than his short stories, and now I can firmly say that I'm not a huge fan of his only play. I believe that Nabokov books need time to develop, and this felt rushed from the beginning, both in story and character development. For such a short piece, I kind of couldn't wait to finish it. The language is typically beautiful and clever, but there's simply not [...]

    11. Eric Hinkle on said:

      4 1/2. Nabokov's verse play written when he was 24? Yes, please. I loved this. It's immensely detailed, but very readable, playful (pardon the pun), and one of the funnier works in his oeuvre. The characters are generally three-dimensional, all with very distinct personalities - and all very memorable, I should think. There are a lot of great, unusual metaphors in this play, and, as should be expected with Vlad, a lot of interplay between reality and fairy tale, and masks, masks, masks. He had w [...]

    12. Ci on said:

      It is hard to imagine this play is written when Nabokov was merely 24 years old. The language is intensely vivid and lyric, yet completely accessible, much credit to the translators in maintaining Nabokov's later English writing.This is a five-part play of a political and philosophic drama. All the things -- loyalty, political alliance, love, romance, beauty -- had the first impression of endurance but quickly transmorphed into things quite different. Particularly unreliable are one's past memor [...]

    13. Brent Legault on said:

      I was prepared not to like Mr. Morn. It's a play, which is just zzzzzz, and juvenalia to boot. I've read his shorter plays and some of his poems from this period and they have made me yearn for more lively reading, like cereal boxes and Ikea intstructions.But I have to say that this Shakespearean pastiche, this amateur effort, feels almost modern, and it lives on the page and makes merry in your mind. And for those few among you who have read all or most of his major and minor works, you will se [...]

    14. Thomas Burchfield on said:

      Definitely more for Nabokovians (like me) than more general readers. One of VN's very first creations, from his early 20s, a year after his father was murdered in Berlin by Russian right-wingers (who were later given posts of honor by the Nazis). Shakespeare was one of VN's greatest loves and it shows, as it's written entirely in verse. Extravagant, poetic, and ambitious, if a little hard for me to stick with.

    15. Cruiseportatlas.com JohnMorn on said:

      Can you believe it? One of my favorite authors wrote a book about me32 years before I was born! And I am in fact a character. Here's a quote "I am Mister Morn, that is all; an empty space, an unstressed syllable in a poem without rhyme." Hey, it's a tragedy! If you like Nabokov and Shakespeare definitely worth reading.

    16. Danielle on said:

      Wow, the prose is beautiful. I am disappointed that some of the lines were missing. But what can you do when the author is already dead? Amazing that it took so long for this play to become published. What a treat for us though! It was a fast paced plot, no time for inactivity. I like that it'll leave you mulling about it long after you've finished.

    17. Jay on said:

      While it was interesting to see how Nabokov wrote way back when he started (many little details that came around again, especially in Pale Fire), I think his genius with words is somewhat lost in a play. When Nabokov is not limited to what the characters on the stage can say, when he can describe the scene in some compelling narrator's voice, that is when he is at his best.

    18. Mark on said:

      A strange and wonderful work, pure pleasure for any fan of Nabokov's works. The playful and brilliant language is pure Nabokov, but the elevated tone of the play is unique and effective. The work is enjoyable in its own right, but will undoubtedly become a busy playground for scholars for years to come.

    19. Andrew on said:

      As a big fan of Nabokov it's nice to see more works being translated and printed for an English audience (only 35 years after his death no less!) Definitely feels like a Nabokov work in tone, style and theme, but with a bit more roughness than his subsequent, mature works. Good stuff!

    20. Liz on said:

      Certainly a juvenile work compared to his lovely later novels, and it's almost impossible to imagine staged as-is-- but it was nonetheless wonderfully pleasant to sink into this vividly-painted little world, which is so very very Nabokov. It's a worthy addition to any fangirl collection.

    21. Kevin on said:

      Not sure this really works as a theatrical piece. It definitely lacks the verbal wit of his English language works. That said, as a huge fan of Pale Fire, it's exciting to see reflections of those themes in his earlier work. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but I'm not sure if recommend it.

    22. Lj on said:

      Beautiful language, and really interestingly translated, but I'm not sure that the iambic pentameter shifted across into English very well, it meant that the language was at once either too florid or too sparse.

    23. Jennifer on said:

      Illuminating, funny, and beautifully disturbing--this is classic Nabokov even before he was a classic. Karshan's introduction is both comprehensive and concise, giving new life to Morn as an essential addition to Nabokov's oeuvre.

    24. Joshua Mooney on said:

      Certain to fascinate anyone who is interested in Nabokov's opposition to the Soviet regime as well as what many of the motifs in the author's later works looked like in his early writing.

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