Vladimir Nabokov Quotes

Quotes tagged as "vladimir-nabokov" (showing 1-27 of 27)
Vladimir Nabokov
“I mean, I have the feeling that something in my mind is poisoning everything else.”
Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov
“Don't touch me; I'll die if you touch me.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov
“He was afraid of touching his own wrist. He never attempted to sleep on his left side, even in those dismal hours of the night when the insomniac longs for a third side after trying the two he has.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin

Vladimir Nabokov
“My little cup brims with tiddles.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov
“..."offensive" is frequently but a synonym for "unusual"...”
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov
“I shall continue to exist. I may assume other disguises, other forms, but I shall try to exist.”
Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov
“I could not kill her, of course, as some have thought. You see, I loved her. It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Jeffrey Tayler
“I fear no hell, just as I expect no heaven. Nabokov summed up a nonbeliever’s view of the cosmos, and our place in it, thus: “The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.” The 19th-century Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle put it slightly differently: “One life. A little gleam of Time between two Eternities.” Though I have many memories to cherish, I value the present, my time on earth, those around me now. I miss those who have departed, and recognize, painful as it is, that I will never be reunited with them. There is the here and now – no more. But certainly no less. Being an adult means, as Orwell put it, having the “power of facing unpleasant facts.” True adulthood begins with doing just that, with renouncing comforting fables. There is something liberating in recognizing ourselves as mammals with some fourscore years (if we’re lucky) to make the most of on this earth.

There is also something intrinsically courageous about being an atheist. Atheists confront death without mythology or sugarcoating. That takes courage.”
Jeffrey Tayler

Vladimir Nabokov
“The writer’s job is to get the main character up a tree, and then once they are up there, throw rocks at them.”
Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov
“Good by-aye!" she chanted, my American sweet immortal dead love; for she is dead and immortal if you are reading this.”
Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov
“Your voice, through the beelike hum, was remote and anxious. It kept sliding into the distance and vanishing. I spoke to you with tightly shut eyes, and felt like crying. My love for you was the throbbing, welling warmth of tears. That is exactly how I imagined paradise: silence and tears, and the warm silk of your knees. This you could not comprehend.”
Vladimir Nabokov, The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov
“My darling, what a cat they have! Something perfectly stupendous. Siamese, in colour dark beige, or taupe, with chocolate paws and the tail the same. Moreover, his tail is comparatively short, so his croup has something of a little dog, or rather, a kangaroo, and that’s its colour, too. And that special silkiness of short fur, and some very tender white tints on its folds, and wonderful clear-blue eyes, turning transparently green towards evening, and a pensive tenderness of its walk, a sort of heavenly circumspection of movement. An amazing, sacred animal, and so quiet – it’s unclear what he is looking at with those eyes filled to the brim with sapphire water.”
Vladimir Nabokov

Mason Currey
“The Russian-born novelist's writing habits were famously peculiar. Beginning in 1950, he composed first drafts in pencil on ruled index cards, which he stored in long file boxes. Since Nabokov claimed, he pictured an entire novel in complete form before he began writing it, this method allowed him to compose passages out of sequence, in whatever order he pleased...”
Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

Vladimir Nabokov
“Wanted, wanted: Dolores Haze.
Hair: brown. Lips: scarlet.
Age: five thousand three hundred days.
Profession: none, or "starlet".

Where are you hiding, Dolores Haze?
Why are you hiding, darling?
(I talk in a daze, I walk in a maze,
I cannot get out, said the starling).”
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov
“I have often noticed that we are inclined to endow our friends with the stability of type that literary characters acquire in the reader's mind. No matter how many times we reopen 'King Lear,' never shall we find the good king banging his tankard in high revelry, all woes forgotten, at a jolly reunion with all three daughters and their lapdogs. Never will Emma rally, revived by the sympathetic salts in Flaubert's father's timely tear. Whatever evolution this or that popular character has gone through between the book covers, his fate is fixed in our minds, and, similarly, we expect our friends to follow this or that logical and conventional pattern we have fixed for them.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov
“For some reason, I kept seeing it—it trembled and silkily glowed on my damp retina—a radiant child of twelve, sitting on a threshold, "pinging" pebbles at an empty can.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov
“One last word,' I said in my horrible careful English, 'are you quite, quite sure 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'

'No,' she said smiling, 'no.'

'It would have made all the difference,' said Humbert Humbert.

Then I pulled out my automatic-I mean, this is the kind of fool thing a reader might suppose I did. It never even occurred to me to do it.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov
“The cup-sized breasts of that twenty-four year old impatient beauty seemed a dozen years younger than she, with those pale squinty nipples and firm form.”
Vladimir Nabokov, The Original of Laura

Stacy Schiff
“Briefly (Vladimir Nabokov) caught the (Superman) fever too, composing a poem, now lost, on the the Man of Steel's wedding night.”
Stacy Schiff, Vera

Vladimir Nabokov
“And I still have other smothered memories, now unfolding themselves into limbless monsters of pain.”
Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov
“Ich weiß nicht, ob jemals festgestellt wurde, daß ein Hauptmerkmal des Lebens die Separatheit ist. Wenn uns keine Fleischesschicht umhüllt, sterben wir. Der Mensch existiert nur in dem Maße, in dem er von seiner Umwelt abgesondert ist.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin

D.M. Denton
“There are three points of view from which a writer can be considered: he may be considered as a storyteller, as a teacher, and as an enchanter. A major writer combines these three — storyteller, teacher, enchanter — but it is the enchanter in him that predominates and makes him a major writer…The three facets of the great writer — magic, story, lesson — are prone to blend in one impression of unified and unique radiance, since the magic of art may be present in the very bones of the story, in the very marrow of thought…Then with a pleasure which is both sensual and intellectual we shall watch the artist build his castle of cards and watch the castle of cards become a castle of beautiful steel and glass.” ~ Vladimir Nabokov”
D.M. Denton

Vladimir Nabokov
“Lolita, luz de mi vida, fuego de mis entrañas. Pecado mío, alma mía. Lo-lita: la punta de la lengua emprende un viaje de tres pasos desde el borde del paladar para apoyarse, en el tercero, en el borde de los dientes. Lo.Li.Ta.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Gustave Flaubert
“Comme l'on serait savant si l'on connaissait bien seulement cinq à six livres. ( How wise one might be if one knew thoroughly only some half of a dozen books”
Flaubert

Petra Hermans
“Vanessa atalanta has written poetry by honey bees.”
Petra Hermans

“It's pouring, the trees are getting greener before my eyes, I love you. A little over three weeks left. I'm almost afraid of the intensity of that happiness.”
Vera Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov
“Moj posao je čokolada. Čokolada je dobra stvar. Ima curica koje vole samo gorku... probirljiva mala prenemagala. (Ne razumem zašto ovo pišem).”
Vladimir Nabokov, Despair