King Queen Knave
King is the wealthy and boisterous proprietor of a male clothing emporium. Ruddy with health and self-satisfaction, he is repugnant to his cold queen, his wife Martha. She is warmed by his fortune, but hungers for their nephew, the knave of hearts.
‘Vladimir Nabokov was a literary genius’ David Lodge
‘Of all my novels this bright brute is the gayest’, Nabokov wrote of King, Queen, Knave. Comic, sensual and cerebral, it dramatizes an Oedipal love triangle, a tragi-comedy of husband, wife and lover, through Dreyer the rich businessman, his ripe-lipped ad mercenary wife Martha, and their bespectacled nephew Franz. ‘If a resolute Freudian manages to slip in’ – Nabokov darts a glance to the reader – ‘he or she should be warned that a number of cruel traps have been set here and there…