Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita” Quotes (64 Quotes)


    Imagine me; I shall not exist if you do not imagine me; try to discern the doe in me, trembling in the forest of my own iniquity; let's even smile a little. After all, there is no harm in smiling.

    One last word are you quite quite ure that - well not tomorrow of course and not after tomorrow but - well - some day any day you will not come to live with me I will create a brand new God and thank him with piercing cries if you give me that microscopic hope.



    Perhaps if the year was 1447 instead of 1947 I might have hoodwinked my gentle nature by administering her some classical poison from a hollow agate, some tender philter of death. But in our middle-class nosy era it would not have come off the way it used to in the brocaded palaces of the past. Nowadays you have to be a scientist if you want to be a killer.


    Why do those people guess so much and shave so little, and are so disdainful of hearing aids?

    It is not the artistic aptitudes that are secondary sexual characters as some shams and shamans have said; it is the other way around: sex is but the ancilla of art.



    It is strange that the tactile sense, which is so infinitely less precious to men than sight, becomes at critical moments our main, if not only, handle to reality.

    She was only the faint violet whiff and dead leaf echo of the nymphet I had rolled myself upon with such cries in the past; an echo on the brink of a russet ravine, with a far wood under a white sky, and brown leaves choking the brook, and one last cricket in the crisp weeds.






    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.

    The general impression is that fifteen year-old Dolly remains morbidly uninterested in sexual matters, or to be exact, represses her curiosity in order to save her ignorance and self-dignity.

    I grew, a happy, healthy child in a bright world of illustrated books, clean sand, orange trees, friendly dogs, sea vistas and smiling faces.

    Let me repeat with quite force: I was, and still am, despite mes malheurs, an exceptionally handsome male; slow moving tall, with dark soft hair and a gloomy but all the more seductive cast of demeanour.

    There he stood, in the camouflage of sun and shade, disfigured by them and masked by his own nakedness.


    Life is short. From here to that old car you know so well there is a stretch of twenty, twenty-five paces. It is a very short walk. Make those twenty-five steps. Now. Right now. Come just as you are. And we shall live happily ever after.


    I hope you will love your baby. I hope it will be a boy. That husband of yours, I hope, will always treat you well, because otherwise my specter shall come out of him, like black smoke, like a demented giant, and pull him apart nerve by nerve. ...I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita.


    This, to use an American term in which discovery, retribution, torture, death, eternity appear in the shape of a singularly repulsive nutshell, was it.

    I knew I had fallen in love with Lolita forever; but I also knew she would not be forever Lolita.




    My only grudge against nature was that I could not turn my Lolita inside out and apply voracious lips to her young matrix, her unknown heart, her nacreous liver, the sea-grapes of her lungs, her comely twin kidneys.

    We had been everywhere. We had really seen nothing. And I catch myself thinking today that our long journey had only defiled with a sinuous trail of slime the lovely, trustful, dreamy, enormous country that by then, in retrospect, was no more to us than a collection of dog-eared maps, ruined tour books, old tires, and her sobs in the night - every night, every night - the moment I feigned sleep.

    I want you to leave your incidental Dick, and this awful hole, and come to live with me, and die with me, and everything with me.

    No writer in a free country should be expected to bother about the exact demarcation between the sensuous and the sensual; this is preposterous; I can only admire but cannot emulate the accuracy of judgment of those who pose the fair young mammals photographed in magazines where the general neckline is just low enough to provoke a past master's chuckle and just high enough not to make a postmaster frown.


    I was also supposed to quiz my various companions on a number of important matters such as nostalgia, fear of unknown animals, food fantasies, nocturnal emissions, hobbies, choice of radio program, changes in out look and so forth.


    We have it all arranged in our minds, and the less often we see a particular person the more satisfying it is to check how obediently he conforms to our notion of him every time we hear of him. Any deviation in the fates we have ordained would strike us as not only anomalous but unethical. We would prefer not to have known our neighbor, the retired hot-dog stand operator, if it turns out he has just produced the greatest book of poetry his age has seen.

    If he was silent I could be silent too. Indeed, I could very well do with a little rest in this subdued, frightened-to-death rocking chair, before I drove to wherever the beast's lair was - and then pulled the pistol's foreskin back, and then enjoyed the orgasm of the crushed trigger.

    Oh, do not scowl at me, reader, I do not intend to convey the impression that I did not manage to be happy.

    We live not only in a world of thoughts, but also in a world of things. Words without experience are meaningless.

    If you want to make a movie out of my book, have one of these faces gently melt into my own, while I look.


    We loved each other with a premature love, marked by a fierceness that so often destroys adult lives.

    I'm thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art, And this is the only immortality that you and I may share, my Lolita.


    While a few pertinent points have to be marked, the general impression I desire to convey is of a side door crashing open in life's full flight, and a rush of roaring black time drowning with its whipping wind the cry of lone disaster.




    More Vladimir Nabokov Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Mind - Life - Books - Art - Literature - Sense & Perception - Past - Death & Dying - Happiness - World - Emotions - Poetry - Imagination & Visualization - Work & Career - Nature - Education - Genius - People - Cry - View All Vladimir Nabokov Quotations

    More Vladimir Nabokov Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Lolita
    - Pale Fire

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