* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Spring in Fialta

Spring in Fialta

by Vladimir Nabokov

Ferdinand Timeline and Summary

  • We learn that Nina is married to a man named Ferdinand when she tells Victor that he is in Fialta as well, along with Segur.
  • Victor recalls his disappointment when he learned that Nina was to be married.
  • Victor explains that Ferdinand is a Franco-Hungarian writer who he thinks is a hack. He is "lean and arrogant," and prides himself on being "a weaver of words." More concerned with prose itself than the meaning behind it, Ferdinand has no understanding of human truth.
  • Nina probably hasn’t read a full volume of his work, ventures Victor.
  • Victor recalls the first time he met Ferdinand, in a café in Paris. The man was surrounded by his posse of pseudo-intellectuals and fellow hacks, ridiculous in their talents and demeanor.
  • He and Victor established a "fake chumminess" and even formed a professional connection, since Victor’s firm made a film out of one of Ferdinand’s stories.
  • As he approaches Nina and Victor in Fialta, Ferdinand indeed looks ridiculous, wearing a waterproof jacket, carrying a camera, and eating a stick of Fialta’s tourist specialty, moonstone candy. He is accompanied by Segur.
  • Ferdinand points out the Indian on one of the circus posters and gives his candy away to a little girl wearing beads around her neck.
  • He then buys Fialta’s version of pink lawn flamingoes: a super-tacky inkwell paperweight of Mount St. George.
  • When Ferdinand and Segur stop at a post office, Victor capitalizes on his alone time with Nina.
  • Victor explains that Ferdinand is an "eclectic" man who isn’t bothered by Nina’s affairs, and even profits from them professionally (as when Victor’s firm made a film of one of his stories).
  • After lunch, Ferdinand and Segur approach Nina and Victor, who are waiting by the yellow car.
  • We go back in time to the lunch the four of them had that day. Victor implicitly attacks Ferdinand for his poor writing by bringing up some negative criticism of his work.
  • Ferdinand responds by railing against criticism of any kind. He then orders the same red drink that he sees the Englishman drinking.
  • Right after lunch, Ferdinand goes to make a phone call, with the express purposes, according to Victor, of obtaining free lodgings with a friend at his next destination. It is this opportunity that Victor takes to get Nina alone and tell her that he loves her.
  • Victor says good-bye to Nina as she drives away with Ferdinand and Segur.
  • Later, when Victor reads about the crash, we learn that, while Nina has died, Ferdinand and Segur both escaped with only minor and temporary injuries.

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement