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TMR 13.7: “From Dodo to Dada” [ADA, OR ARDOR]

From the International House of Prostitutes to the reunion of Ada and Van, this week's episode is quite a trip. Chad and Brian talk about dreams, John Garner, Martin Amis on "obscure" and "difficult" novels, how to actually pronounce Van, and much more. This week's music is "Money" by Widowspeak. If you'd prefer to ...

TMR 13.6: “Star Rats and Space Aces” [ADA, OR ARDOR]

Chad and Brian wrap up Part One of Ada, or Ardor—which features a duel, multiple deaths, an existential diatribe, and canes—and move onto Part Two, which is very Pynchon-esque. They get to dive into Van's "philosophical novel," ideas of time, questions about Terra, and much more. This episode is as fun and wild as the ...

TMR 13.5: “The Accursed Children” [ADA, OR ARDOR]

A family dinner, a picnic in the woods—what could be more innocent? Well, in Ada, or Ardor, everything is tinged with a baseline feeling of "kind of creepy," especially the "passionate pump-joy exertions." Chad and Brian break it all down, talking about Demon, unraveling Nabokovian puns, finding subtle hints about Van's ...

TMR 13.4: “Terra: Eremitic Reality of Collective Dream?” [ADA, OR ARDOR]

Things shift in Ada, or Ardor this week, with Van's second trip to Ardis being much darker, much more perverse and troubling than the first, "more innocent" summer with Ada. There's also another couple hints about Terra, and the possiblity of Ada having another lover . . . And, as is par for the course, some amazing writing ...

TMR 13.1 “All Happy Families” [ADA, OR ARDOR]

Chad and Brian try their best to unpack the first three chapters of Vladimir Nabokov's Ada, or Ardor, in an attempt to find some solid footing for this sci-fi (?), ambitious, reference-laded masterwork of one of the greatest writers of our times. Lots of questions about where we are (Terra or Anti-Terra?); mirrors; the ...

Let’s Try This Instead

Now that I've taught a few hybrid sessions of my "Intro to Literary Publishing" class, I can confirm that teaching during COVID is WEIRD. So weird. (And not just because I couldn't figure out the technology on day one, or because I can't hear the students very well without being able to see their faces. Although both of those ...

TMR Season Thirteen: “Ada, or Ardor” by Vladimir Nabokov

The public has spoken, and the next book to be featured in the Two Month Review is Ada, or Ardor by Vladimir Nabokov! Which is kind of perfect. We follow the thread of Anna Karenina from The Book of Anna by Carmen Boullosa to this novel, originally written in 1969, which opens: "All happy families are more or less ...