Vladimir Nabokov Quotes (137 Quotes)



    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.

    All the seven deadly sins are peccadilloes but without three of them, Pride, Lust, and Sloth, poetry might never have been born.


    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.


    And he absolutely had to find her at once to tell her that he adored her, but the large audience before him separated him from the door, and the notes reaching him through a succession of hands said that she was not available; that she was inaugurating a fire; that she had married an american businessman; that she had become a character in a novel; that she was dead.

    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.



    Feeling a bit nervous, as most people do at the prospect of seeing a doctor, I thought I would buy on my way to him something soothing to prevent an accelerated pulse from misleading credulous science.


    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 notice a whiff of Swift in some of my notes. I too am a desponder in my nature, an uneasy, peevish, and suspicious man, although I have my moments of volatility and fou rire.

    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.



    More Vladimir Nabokov Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Mind - Life - Books - Art - Literature - Past - Death & Dying - Sense & Perception - 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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