Despair Quotes

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Despair Despair by Vladimir Nabokov
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Despair Quotes (showing 1-15 of 15)
“To begin with, let us take the following motto...Literature is Love. Now we can continue.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Despair
tags: motto
“I liked, as I like still, to make words look self-conscious and foolish, to bind them by mock marriage of a pun, to turn them inside out, to come upon them unawares. What is this jest in majesty? This ass in passion? How do god and devil combine to form a live dog?”
Vladimir Nabokov, Despair
“All the information I have about myself is from forged documents.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Despair
“And what is death, if not a face at peace - its artistic perfection.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Despair
“She is a great gobbler of books, but reads only trash, memorizing nothing and leaving out the longer descriptions.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Despair
“It is a singular reaction, this sitting still and writing, writing, writing, or ruminating at length, which is much the same, really.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Despair
“That man, especially when he slept, when his features were motionless, showed me my own face, my mask, the flawlessly pure image of my corpse […] in a state of perfect repose, this resemblance was strikingly evident, and what is death, if not a face at peace – its artistic perfection? Life only marred my double; thus a breeze dims the bliss of Narcissus; thus, in the painter’s absence, there comes his pupil and by the superfluous flush of unbidden tints disfigures the portrait painted by the master.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Despair
“The pale organisms of literary heroes feeding under the author's supervision swell gradually with the reader's lifeblood; so that the genius of a writer consists in giving them the faculty to adapt themselves to that - not very appetizing - food and thrive on it, sometimes for centuries.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Despair
“It may look as though I do not know how to start. Funny sight, the elderly gentleman who comes lumbering by, jowl flesh flopping, in a valiant dash for the last bus, which he eventually overtakes but is afraid to board in motion and so, with a sheepish smile, drops back, still going at a trot. Is it that I dare not make the leap? It roars, gathers speed, will presently vanish irrevocably around the corner, the bus, the motorbus, the mighty montibus of my tale. Rather bulky imagery, this. I am still running.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Despair
“Philosophy is the invention of the rich.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Despair
“If I am not master of my life, not sultan of my own being, then no man's logic and no man's ecstatic fits may force me to find less silly my impossibly silly position: that of God's slave; no, not his slave even, but just a match which is aimlessly struck and then blown out by some inquisitive child, the terror of his toys.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Despair
“Old birds like Orlovius are wonderfully easy to lead by the beak, because a combination of decency and sentimentality is exactly equal to being a fool.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Despair
“The idea of God was invented in the small hours of history by a scam who had genius; it somehow reeks too much of humanity, that idea, to make its azure origin plausible...”
Vladimir Nabokov, Despair
“There is yet another reason why I cannot, nor wish to, believe in God: the fairy tale about him is not really mine, it belongs to strangers, to all men; it is soaked through by the evil-smelling effluvia of millions of other souls that have spun about a little under the sun and then burst…”
Vladimir Nabokov, Despair
“Удивительная вещь, — задумывался ли ты когда-нибудь над этим? — что двое людей, одинаково бeдных, живут неодинаково, один, скажем, как ты, откровенно и безнадежно нищенствует, а другой, такой же бeдняк, ведет совсeм иной образ жизни, — прилично одeт, беспечен, сыт, вращается среди богатых весельчаков, — почему это так? А потому, Феликс, что принадлежат они к разным классам, — и если уже мы заговорили о классах, то представь себe одного человeка, который зайцем eдет в четвертом классe, и другого, который зайцем eдет в первом: одному твердо, другому мягко, а между тeм у обоих кошелек пуст, — вeрнeе, у одного есть кошелек, хоть и пустой, а у другого и этого нeт, — просто дырявая подкладка.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Despair

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