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Vladimir Nabokov Quotes (137 Quotes)


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  • I shall be dumped where the weed decays, And the rest is rust and stardust
    (Vladimir Nabokov, "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.
    (Vladimir Nabokov, "Lolita")

  • 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.
    (Vladimir Nabokov, "Lolita")

  • I cannot disobey something which I do not know and the reality of which I have the right to deny.
    (Vladimir Nabokov, "Pale Fire")

  • 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.
    (Vladimir Nabokov, "Lolita")


  • 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.
    (Vladimir Nabokov, "Lolita")

  • We hasten to alienate the very fates we intended to woo.
    (Vladimir Nabokov, "Lolita")

  • 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.
    (Vladimir Nabokov, "Pale Fire")

  • 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.
    (Vladimir Nabokov, "Lolita")

  • Nymphets do not occur in polar regions.
    (Vladimir Nabokov, "Lolita")

  • 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.
    (Vladimir Nabokov, "Lolita")

  • Solitude is the playfield of Satan.
    (Vladimir Nabokov, "Pale Fire")

  • 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.
    (Vladimir Nabokov, "Lolita")

  • Oh, do not scowl at me, reader, I do not intend to convey the impression that I did not manage to be happy.
    (Vladimir Nabokov, "Lolita")

  • We live not only in a world of thoughts, but also in a world of things. Words without experience are meaningless.
    (Vladimir Nabokov, "Lolita")


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