Ada as a Difficult Book

Lawrence Weschler has observed, astutely, that writers tend to move from Romanesque to Gothic. The early work will be thick, solid, even heavy; only with decades of experience does the writer learn to chisel away excess, as the builders of Notre Dame did: to let in the light. In the case ofVladimir Nabokov, however, the converse seems to obtain. Of the major edifices he erected in English, his last, Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle(1969), is his most excessive, both in its difficulty and in the pleasures it affords the (re)reader.
The rest at The Millions. (Reminds me of the line in Wonder Boys: "It's that kind of a book. Like Ada, you know, or Gravity's Rainbow. It teaches you how to read it as you go along")