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By Vladimir Nabokov

Mary is a gripping story of juvenile, past love, and nostalgia--Nabokov's first novel.  In a Berlin rooming condo choked with an collection of seriocomic Russian émigrés, Lev Ganin, a energetic younger officer poised among his prior and his destiny, relives his past love affair.  His stories of Mary are suffused with the freshness of teenybopper and the idyllic atmosphere of pre-revolutionary Russia.  In stark distinction is the decidedly unappealing boarder residing within the room subsequent to Ganin's, who, he discovers, is Mary's husband, quickly separated from her by means of the Revolution yet awaiting her approaching arrival from Russia.

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Mr. Podtyagin is getting ready to go away. Mr. Alfyorov’s spouse is arriving day after today. Mlle. Klara is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday and The undersigned have bought an engagement during this city—because of all this a party should be held this night at 10 p. m. in room April sixth. “How type of them,” stated Podtyagin with a grin as he went out of the home with Ganin, who had agreed to accompany him to the police station. “Where are you going in the event you go away Berlin, Lyovushka? far-off? convinced, you’re a fowl of passage. while i used to be younger I longed to trip, to swallow the full extensive international. good, it’s rattling good happened—” He hunched himself opposed to the clean spring wind, grew to become up the collar of his well-kept darkish grey overcoat with its large bone buttons. He nonetheless felt a debilitating weak spot within the legs, an aftereffect of his center assault, yet at the present time he derived a undeniable joyful reduction from the idea that now he may probably have performed with all of the fuss approximately his passport and that he may even get permission to depart for Paris the very subsequent day. The significant purple-red development of the critical police headquarters confronted onto 4 streets. It was once in-built a grim yet super undesirable Gothic sort with dim home windows and a hugely fascinating courtyard forbidden to the general public; an emotionless policeman stood on the major portal. An arrow at the wall pointed around the highway to a photographer’s studio, the place in twenty mins it is easy to receive a depressing likeness of oneself: part a dozen exact physiognomies, of which one was once caught onto the yellow web page of the passport, one other one went into the police information, whereas the remaining have been most likely dispensed one of the officers’ deepest collections. Podtyagin and Ganin entered a large grey hall. on the door of the passport division stood a bit desk the place an historical bewhiskered reliable issued numbered tickets, sometimes casting a schoolmasterly look over his spectacles on the small polyglot crowd of individuals. “You needs to stand within the queue and get a number,” acknowledged Ganin. “And I by no means did that before,” the previous poet answered in a whisper. “I simply used to head directly in during the door. ” whilst he acquired his price ticket a couple of minutes later he was once overjoyed, and regarded much more like a fats guinea pig than ever. within the naked, stuffy, sunlit room the place officers sat at their desks at the back of a low partition, there has been one other crowd which looked as if it would have come for the only objective of watching these lugubrious scribes. Ganin driven his means via, with Podtyagin snuffling alongside trustfully after him. part an hour later, having passed in Podtyagin’s passport, they moved over to a different table; back a queue, a weigh down of individuals, somebody’s undesirable breath and, finally, for the cost of a number of marks the yellow sheet of paper used to be lower back, now embellished with the magic stamp. “Now off we visit the consulate,” grunted Podtyagin joyfully as they left the redoubtable-looking even though in truth relatively dreary development. “It’s within the bag now. How do you be capable to seek advice from them so lightly, my pricey Lev Glebovich?

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