Posted in Literature, Mixed Review, Reading

Mr. Cincinnatus

I have pretty weird opinions about books most of the time, so I thought it’d be a good idea to share them (nice logic there, isn’t it?)

This About page gives a pretty clear idea of what I’m going to do with this blog. In short, I’ll review books in connection with movies/TV-shows/plays that they remind me of. Not the movie versions of said books, obviously. I’ll just point out the parallels I see in the plot, characters, themes etc.

I hope it turns out well.

Book: Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov


Movie: Mr. Nobody directed by Jaco Van Dormael


Recently we had to read Nabokov’s Invitation to a Beheading for literature class. And I must say, it was an amazing experience. I was used to the Nabokov who wrote Lolita, the rich poems and short stories I know and love, not the Nabokov I saw in this particular work. It was originally written in Russian and first published in the 1930s. Those were pretty dark times thanks to a bunch of off-the-rocker dictators, which is why many critics assumed he was writing about this period of history.

The book tells the story of Cincinnatus C. who is accused of ‘gnostical turpitude’ and sentenced to a beheading. He is unaccepted by the society he lives in because he is ‘impervious to the rays of others’, producing ‘a bizarre impression, as of a lone dark obstacle in this world of souls transparent to one another’. The whole book is virtually him waiting for his execution while interacting with the apparently lifeless, will-less inhabitants of the world. Continue reading “Mr. Cincinnatus”