The Real Life of Sebastian Knight by Nabokov, V
Publisher: Penguin 2011
Spurred on by admiration for his novelist half-brother and irritation at the biography written about him by Mr Goodman (‘his slapdash and very misleading book’), the narrator, V, sets out to record Sebastian Knight’s life as he understands it. But buried amid the extensive quoting, digressions, seeming explanations and meaningful digs at Mr Goodman, Sebastian’s erratic and troubled persona remains as elusive as ever. As does the narrator’s. Do they exist or are they an illusion? In the unresolved confusion between the real and unreal there are no answers, for this is a book that defies summing up in its quest for human truth.