The Eye

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Smurov, a fussily self-conscious Russian tutor, shoots himself after a humiliating beating by his mistress’ husband. Unsure whether his suicide has been successful or not, Smurov drifts around Berlin, observing his acquaintances, but finds he can discover very little about his own life from the opinions of his distracted, confused fellow-émigrés. Nabokov’s shortest novel, The Eye is both a satirical detective story and a wonderfully layered exploration of identity, appearance and the loss of self in a world of word-play and confusion.

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