Famous Quotes & Sayings

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Vladimir Nabokov.

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Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1060293

Years of secret suffering had taught me superhuman self-control. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1085763

We are liable to miss the best of life if we do not know how to tingle, if we do not learn to hoist ourselves just a little higher than we generally are in order to sample the rarest and ripest fruit of art which human thought has to offer. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1227284

The sky was so heartless and dark, and her body, her head, and particularly those damned thirsty trousers, felt clogged with Oceanus Nox, n,o,x. At every slap and splash of cold wild salt, she heaved with anise-flavored nausea and there was an increasing number, okay, or numbness in her neck and arms. As she began losing track of herself, she thought it proper to inform a series of receding Lucettes
telling them to pass it on and on in a trick-crystal regression
that what death amounted to was only a more complete assortment of the infinite fractions of solitude. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1917373

A creative writer must study carefully the works of his rivals, including the Almighty. He must possess the inborn capacity not only of recombining but of re-creating the given world. In order to do this adequately, avoiding duplication of labor, the artist should know the given world. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2228731

Every author believes, when his first book is published, that those that acclaim it are his personal friends or impersonal peers, while its revilers can only be envious rogues and nonentities. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 152107

Lolita, Lolita, Lolita, Lolita, Lolita, Lolita, Lolita, Lolita, Lolita. Repeat till the page is full, printer. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1171977

God does not exist, as neither does our hereafter, that second bogey being as easily disposed of as the first. Indeed, imagine yourself just dead - and suddenly wide awake in Paradise where, wreathed in smiles, your dear dead welcome you.
Now tell me, please, what guarantee do you possess that those beloved ghosts are genuine; that it is really your dear dead mother and not some petty demon mystifying you, masked as your mother and impersonating her with consummate art and naturalness? There is the rub, there is the horror; the more so as the acting will go on and on, endlessly; never, never, never, never, never will your soul in that other world be quite sure that the sweet gentle spirits crowding about it are not fiends in disguise, and forever, and forever, and forever shall your soul remain in doubt, expecting every moment some awful change, some diabolical sneer to disfigure the dear face bending over you. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1089097

A poet's purified truth can cause no pain, no offense. True art is above false honor. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2197849

"offensive" is frequently but a synonym for "unusual" ... — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2170130

Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 476209

As to the past, I would not mind retrieving from various corners of space-time certain lost comforts, such as baggy trousers and long, deep bathtubs. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 661148

But nobody yet had been able to dig down to what was most captivating about her: this was the mysterious ability of her soul to apprehend in life only that which had once attracted and tormented her in childhood, the time when the soul's instinct is infallible; to seek out the amusing and the touching: to feel constantly an intolerable, tender pity for the creature whose life is helpless and unhappy; to feel across hundreds of miles that somewhere in Sicily a thin-legged little donkey with a shaggy belly is being brutally beaten. Whenever she did come across a creature that was being hurt, she experienced a kind of legendary eclipse - when inexplicable night comes down and ash flies and blood appears on the walls - and it seemed that if at once, at once, she did not help, did not cut short another's torture (the existence of which it was absolutely impossible to explain in a world so conducive to happiness), her heart would not stand it, and she would die. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 786658

We loved - and it has all gone, somewhere...
We loved - and now our love is frozen,
and now it lies, one wing spread out, raising
its little feet - a dead sparrow on the damp
gravel... But we loved... we flew... — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 966134

I am just winking happy thoughts into a little tiddle cup. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1564941

Sleep is the most moronic fraternity in the world, with the heaviest dues and the crudest rituals. It is a mental torture I find debasing ... I simply cannot get used to the nightly betrayal of reason, humanity, genius. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2063080

That human life is but a first installment of the serial soul and that one's individual secret is not lost in the process of earthly dissolution, becomes something more than an optimistic conjecture, and even more than a matter of religious faith, when we remember that only commonsense rules immortality out. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1402538

I looked and looked at her, and I knew, as clearly as I know that I will die, that I loved her more than anything I had ever seen or imagined on earth. She was only the dead-leaf echo of the nymphet from long ago - but I loved her, this Lolita, pale and polluted and big with another man's child. She could fade and wither - I didn't care. I would still go mad with tenderness at the mere sight of her face. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2055581

What he had really wanted to do was to tear a hole in his world and escape. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 90566

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. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 586708

He suggested I play golf, but finally agreed to give me something that, he said, "would really work"; and going to a cabinet, he produced a vial of violet-blue capsules banded with dark purple at one end, which, he said, had just been placed on the market and were intended not for neurotics whom a draft of water could calm if properly administered, but only for great sleepless artists who had to die for a few hours in order to live for centuries. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 459257

the artist in me has been given the upper hand over the gentleman. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1116488

One of our sillier Zemblan proverbs says: the lost glove is happy. Promptly — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 237370

...17nastai hugshin emegtei... — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 785946

Since I sometimes won the race between my fancy and nature's reality - the deception was bearable. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1680401

There is nothing more atrociously cruel than an adored child. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 661376

My loathings are simple. stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music. My pleasures are the most intense known to man: writing and butterfly hunting. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 655372

He broke my heart. You merely broke my life. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 155746

In reading, one should notice and fondle details. There is nothing wrong about the moonshine of generalization when it comes after the sunny trifles of the book have been lovingly collected. If one begins with a readymade generalization, one begins at the wrong end and travels away from the book before one has started to understand it. Nothing is more boring or more unfair to the author than starting to read, say, Madame Bovary, with the preconceived notion that it is a denunciation of the bourgeoisie. We should always remember that the work of art is invariably the creation of a new world, so that the first thing we should do is to study that new world as closely as possible, approaching it as something brand new, having no obvious connection with the worlds we already know. When this new world has been closely studied, then and only then let us examine its links with other worlds, other branches of knowledge. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 990919

And the rest is rust and stardust. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 119375

beware of ideas... — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 119709

[ ... ] leaving for a day or two that hopeless sense of loss which makes beauty what it is: a distant lone tree against golden heavens; ripples of light on the inner curve of a bridge; a thing impossible to capture. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 125144

I had once been splintered into a million beings and objects. Today I am one, tomorrow I shall splinter again. And thus everything in the world decants and modulates. That day I was on the crest of a wave. I knew that all my surroundings were notes of one and the same harmony, knew - secretly - the source and the inevitable resolution of the sounds assembled for an instant, and the new chord that would be engendered by each of the dispersing notes. My soul's musical ear knew and comprehended everything. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 154891

I recall the scent of some kind of toilet powder - I believe she stole it from her mother's Spanish maid - a sweetish, lowly, musky perfume. It mingled with her own biscuity odor, and my senses were suddenly filled to the brim; a sudden commotion in a nearby bush prevented them from overflowing - and as we drew away from each other, and with aching veins attended to what was probably a prowling cat, there came from the
house her mother's voice calling her, with a rising frantic note - and Dr. Cooper ponderously limped out into the garden. But that mimosa grove - the haze of stars, the tingle, the flame, the honey-dew, and the ache remained with me, and that little girl with her seaside limbs and ardent tongue haunted me ever since - until at last, twenty-four years later, I broke her spell by incarnating her in another. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 157025

In the fatal course of the most painful ailments, sometimes [ ... ], sometimes there occur sweet mornings of perfect repose- and that not owning to some blessed pill or potion [ ... ] or at least without our knowing that the loving hand of despair slipped us the drug. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 195088

And what agony, thought Krug the thinker, to love so madly a little creature, formed in some mysterious fashion (even more mysterious to us than it had been to the very first thinkers in their pale olive gloves) by the fusion of two mysteries, or rather two sets of a trillion of mysteries each; formed by a fusion which is, at the same time, a matter of choice and a matter of chance and a matter of pure enchantment; thus formed and then permitted to accumulate trillions of its own mysteries; the whole suffused with consciousness, which is the only real thing in the world and the greatest mystery of all. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 305919

Genius still means to me, in my Russian fastidiousness and pride of phrase, a unique dazzling gift. The gift of James Joyce, and not the talent of Henry James. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 331731

In my dreams the world would come alive, becoming so captivatingly majestic, free and ethereal, that afterwards it would be oppressive to breathe the dust of this painted life. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 364830

Which arrow flies for ever? The arrow that has hit its mark. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 409197

When I try to analyze my own cravings, motives, actions and so forth, I surrender to a sort of retrospective imagination which feeds the analytic faculty with boundless alternatives and which causes each visualized route to fork and re-fork without end in the maddeningly complex prospect of my past. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 459373

There are teachers and students with square minds who are by nature meant to undergo the fascination of catagories. For them, 'schools' and 'movements' are everything; by painting a group symbol on the brow of mediocrity, they condone their own incomprehension of true genius. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 460395

Satire is a lesson, parody is a game. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 524583

I find it inordinately hard to speak about my other brother. He is a mere shadow in the background of my richest and most detailed recollections. It is one of those lives that hopelessly claim a belated something
compassion, understanding, no matter what
which the mere recognition of such a want can neither replace nor redeem. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 625140

At a very early stage of the novel's development I get this urge to collect bits of straw and fluff, and to eat pebbles. Nobody will ever discover how clearly a bird visualizes, or if it visualizes at all, the future nest and the eggs in it. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 632727

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. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 680769

There is nothing in the world that I loathe more than group activity, that communal bath where the hairy and slippery mix in a multiplication of mediocrity. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 705343

Above all, beware of platitudes, i.e., word combinations that have already appeared a thousand times ... As a general rule, try to find new combinations of words (not for the sake of their novelty, but because every person sees things in an individual way and must find his own words for them). — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 731827

Doom is nigh. I am in acute distress, desperately trying to coax sleep, opening my eyes every few seconds to check their faded gleam, and imagining paradise as a place where a sleepless neighbor reads an endless book by the light of an eternal candle. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 752922

The road now stretched across open country, and it occured to me - not by way of protest, not as a symbol, or anything like that, but merely as a novel experience - that since I had disregarded all laws of humanity, I might as well disregard the rules of traffic. So I crossed to the left side of the highway and checked the feeling, and the feeling was good. It was a pleasant diaphragmal melting, with elements of diffused tactility, all this enhanced by the thought that nothing could be nearer to the elimination of basic physical laws than deliberately driving on the wrong site of the road. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 764325

She had spent all her life in feeling miserable; this misery was her native element; its fluctuations, its varying depths, alone save her the impression of moving and living. What bothers me is that a sense of misery, and nothing else, is not enough to make a permanent soul. My enormous and morose Mademoiselle is all right on earth but impossible in eternity. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 781666

The best part of a writer's biography is not the record of his adventures but the story of his style. [Vogue, interview, 1969] — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 817006

A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 895696

She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 919325

I know more than I can express in words, and the little I can express would not have been expressed, had I not known more. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 924788

Solitude is the playfield of Satan. I — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 961305

I sometimes used to ask myself, what on earth did I love her for? Maybe fore the warm hazel iris of her fluffy eyes, or for the natural side-wave of her brown hair, done anyhow, or again for that movement of her plump shoulders. But, probably the truth was that I loved her because she loved me. To her I was the ideal man: brains, pluck. And there was none dressed better. I remember once, when I first put on that new dinner jacket, with the vast trousers, she clapsed her hands, sank down on a chair and murmured: 'Oh, Hermann ... It was ravishment bordering upon something like heavenly woe. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1004292

And what is death, if not a face at peace - its artistic perfection. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1017876

Commonsense has trampled down many a gentle genius whose eyes had delighted in a too early moonbeam of some too early truth; commonsense has back-kicked dirt at the loveliest of queer paintings because a blue tree seemed madness to its well-meaning hoof; commonsense has prompted ugly but strong nations to crush their fair but frail neighbors the moment a gap in history offered a chance that it would have been ridiculous not to exploit. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1038738

One opal cloudlet in an oval form reflects the rainbow of a thunderstorm which in a distant valley has been staged for we are most artistically caged. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1046903

I always call him Lewis Carroll Carroll, because he was the first Humbert Humbert. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1067363

It's exactly my sense of existing - a fragment, a wisp of color. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1079111

Thus it transpired that even Berlin could be mysterious. Within the linden's bloom the streetlight winks. A dark and honeyed hush envelops us. Across the curb one's passing shadow slinks: across a stump a sable ripples thus. The night sky melts to peach beyond that gate. There water gleams, there Venice vaguely shows. Look at that street
it runs to China straight, and yonder star above the Volga glows! Oh, swear to me to put in dreams your trust, and to believe in fantasy alone, and never let your soul in prison rust, nor stretch your arm and say: a wall of stone. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1086040

She looked around, loosened her bra, and turned over on her stomach to give her back a chance to be feasted upon. She said she loved me. She sighed deeply. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1113522

Coordinating there Events and objects with remote events And vanished objects. Making ornaments Of accidents and possibilities. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1144800

... with somebody's lost pair of sun-glasses for only witness. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1228162

You forget, my good man, that what the artist perceives is, primarily, the difference between things. It is the vulgar who note their resemblance. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1234623

Happy is the novelist who manages to preserve an actual love letter that he received when he was young within a work of fiction, embedded in it like a clean bullet in flabby flesh and quite secure there, among spurious lives. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1249843

Photographs of girl-children; some gaudy moth or butterfly, still alive, safely pinned to the wall. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1303856

Her hair was well brushed that day and sheened darkly in contrast with the lusterless pallor of her neck and arms. She wore the striped tee shirt which in his lone fantasies he especially liked to peel off her twisting torso. The oilcloth was divided into blue and white squares. A smear of honey stained what remained of the butter in its cool crock.
'All right. And the third Real Thing?'
She considered him. A fiery droplet in the wick of her mouth considered him. A three-colored velvet violet, of which she had done an aquarelle on the eve, considered him from its fluted crystal. She said nothing. She licked her spread fingers, still looking at him.
Van, getting no answer, left the balcony. Softly her tower crumbled in the sweet silent sun. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1361912

No, I have as yet said nothing, or, rather, said only bookish words ... and in the end the logical thing would be for me to give up and I would give up if I were labouring for a reader existing today, but as there is in the world not a single human who can speak my language; or, more simply, not a single human who can speak; or, even more simply, not a single human; I must think only of myself, of that force which urges me to express myself. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1391293

Virginia was not quite fourteen when Harry Edgar possessed her. He gave her lessons in algebra. Je m'imagine cela. They spent their honeymoon at Petersburg, Fla. "Monsieur Poe-poe," as that boy in one of Monsieur Humbert Humbert's classes in Paris called the poet-poet. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1450785

The worst madman is the one who fails to consider the possibility of somebody else being mad too. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1464088

He loved her in spite of her unlovableness. Armande had many trying, thought not necessarily rare, traits, all of which he accepted as absurd clues in a clever puzzle. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1483297

My angel, oh my angel, perhaps our whole earthly existence is now but a pun to you, or a grotesque rhyme, something like "dental" and "transcendental" (remember?), and the true meaning of reality, of that piercing term, purged of all our strange, dreamy, masquerade interpretations, now sounds so pure and sweet that you, angel, find it amusing that we could have taken the dream so seriously (although you and I did have an inkling of why everything disintegrated at one furtive touch
words, conventions of everyday life, systems, persons
so, you know, I think laughter is some chance little ape of truth astray in our world. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1504517

Nothing is more occult than the way letters, under the auspices of unimaginable carriers, circulate through the weird mess of civil wars; but whenever, owing to that mess, there was some break in our correspondence, Tamara would act as if she ranked deliveries with ordinary natural phenomena such as the weather or tides, which human affairs could not affect, and she would accuse me of not answering her, when in fact I did nothing but write to her and think of her during those months
despite my many betrayals ... and the sense of leaving Russia was totally eclipsed by the agonizing thought that Reds or no Reds, letters from Tamara would be still coming, miraculously and needlessly, to southern Crimea, and would search there for a fugitive addressee, and weakly flap about like bewildered butterflies set loose in an alien zone, at the wrong altitude, among an unfamiliar flora. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1528726

The lovely thing about humanity is that at times one may be unaware of doing right, but one is always aware of doing wrong. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1529698

Van sealed the letter, found his Thunderbolt pistol in the place he had visualized, introduced one cartridge into the magazine, and translated it into its chamber. Then, standing before a closet mirror, he put the automatic to his head, at the point of the pterion, and pressed the comfortably concaved trigger. Nothing happened - or perhaps everything happened, and his destiny simply forked at that instant, as it probably does sometimes at night, especially in a strange bed, at stages of great happiness or great desolation, when we happen to die in our sleep, but continue our normal existence, with no perceptible break in the fakes serialization, on the following, neatly prepared morning, with a spurious past discreetly but firmly attached behind. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1543551

No doubt, he is horrible, he is abject, he is a shining example of moral leprosy, a mixture of ferocity and jocularity that betrays supreme misery perhaps, but is not conductive to attractiveness.
He is ponderously capricious.
Many of his casual opinions on people and scenery of this country are ludicrous.
A desperate honesty that throbs through his confession does not absolve him from sins of diabolical cunning.
He is abnormal.
He is not a gentleman.
But how magically his singing violin can conjure up a tendresse, a compassion for Lolita that makes us entranced with the book while abhorring it's author! — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1549066

Plage, various seaside chairs and stools supported the parents — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1658851

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

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1723739

This irritated or puzzled such students of literature and their professors as were accustomed to 'serious' courses replete with 'trends ' and 'schools ' and 'myths ' and 'symbols ' and 'social comment ' and something unspeakably spooky called 'climate of thought.' Actually these 'serious' courses were quite easy ones with the students required to know not the books but about the books. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1744255

Logical reasoning may be a most convenient means of mental communication for covering short distances, but the curvature of the earth, alas, is reflected even in logic: an ideally rational progression of thought will finally bring you back to the point of departure where you return aware of the simplicity of genius, with a delightful sensation that you have embraced truth, while actually you have merely embraced your own self ... anything you might term a deduction already exposes the flaw: logical development inexorably becomes an envelopment. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1848692

My advice to a budding literary critic would be as follows. Learn to distinguish banality. Remember that mediocrity thrives on "ideas." Beware of the modish message. Ask yourself if the symbol you have detected is not your own
footprint. Ignore allegories. By all means place the "how" above the "what" but do not let it be confused with the "so what." Rely on the sudden erection of your small dorsal hairs. Do not drag in Freud at this point. All the rest depends on personal talent. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1855543

Reader! Bruder! What a foolish Hamburg that Hamburg was! Since his supersensitive system was loath to face the actual scene, he thought he could at least enjoy a secret part of it - which reminds one of the tenth or twentieth soldier in the raping queue who throws the girl's black shawl over her white face so as not to see those impossible eyes while taking his military pleasure in the sad, sacked village. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1868616

I almost said - trying to find some casual remark - 'I wonder sometimes what has become of the little McCoo girl, did she ever get better?' - but stopped in time lest she rejoin: 'I wonder sometimes what has become of the little Haze girl ... — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1903705

Once upon a time there lived in Berlin, Germany, a man called Albinus. He was rich, respectable, happy; one day he abandoned his wife for the sake of a youthful mistress; he loved; was not loved; and his life ended in disaster.
This is the whole of the story and we might have left it at that had there not been profit and pleasure in the telling; and although there is plenty of space on a gravestone to contain, bound in moss, the abridged version of a man's life, detail is always welcome. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1917353

Life is a great sunrise. I do not see why death should not be a greater one. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1928893

Some might think that the creativity, imagination, and flights of fancy that give my life meaning are insanity. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 1939901

Look at this tangle of thorns. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2002127

(T)here exist friendships which develop their own inner duration, their own eons of transparent time. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2057328

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. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2062330

Time means succession, and succession, change: Hence timelessness is bound to disarrange Schedules of sentiment. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2072904

Every limit presupposes something beyond it. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2080487

The good, the admirable reader identifies himself not with the boy or the girl in the book, but with the mind that conceived and composed that book. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2088226

A change of environment is the traditional fallacy upon which doomed loves, and lungs, rely. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2134871

Another part of the ritual was to ascend with closed eyes. 'Step, step, step,' came my mother's voice as she led me up - and sure enough, the surface of the next tread would receive the blind child's confident foot; all one had to do was lift it a little higher than usual, so as to avoid stubbing one's toe against the riser. This slow, somewhat somnambulistic ascension in self-engendered darkness held obvious delights. The keenest of them was not knowing when the last step would come. At the top of the stairs, one's foot would be automatically lifted to the deceptive call of 'Step,' and then, with a momentary sense of exquisite panic, with a wild contraction of muscles, would sink into the phantasm of a step, padded, as it were, with the infinitely elastic stuff of its own nonexistence. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2174535

Have you ever happened, reader, to feel that subtle sorrow of parting with an unloved abode? The heart does not break, as it does in parting with dear objects. The humid gaze does not wander around holding back a tear, as if it wished to carry away in it a trembling reflection of the abandoned spot; but in the best corner of our hearts we feel pity for the things which we did not bring to life with our breath, which we hardly noticed and are now leaving forever. This already dead iventory will not be resurrected in one's memory.. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2186061

Couleur locale has been responsible for many hasty appreciations, and local color is not a fast color. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2187676

Life is just one small piece of light between two eternal darknesses. — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2214777

But then what does it matter whence comes the gentle nudge that jars the soul into motion and sets it rolling, doomed never again to stop? — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes 2255849

When we remember our former selves, there is always that little figure with its long shadow stopping like an uncertain belated visitor on a lighted threshold at the far end of some impeccably narrowing corridor. — Vladimir Nabokov