Best 548 of Vladimir Nabokov quotes - MyQuotes

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Vladimir Nabokov
By Anonym 16 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

...for she soars with the wildest hyperbole when not tagging after the most pedestrian dictum.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

As she began losing track of herself, she though 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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

...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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

All my life I have been a poor go-to-sleeper. No matter how great my weariness, the wrench of parting with consciousness is unspeakably repulsive to me.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Poor Knight! he really had two periods, the firsta dull man writing broken English, the seconda broken man writing dull English.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

And I thought to myself how those fast little articles forget everything, everything, while we, old lovers, treasure every inch of their nymphancy

By Anonym 14 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Listen—I want to run all my life, screaming at the top of my lungs. Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don’t stop to think, don’t interrupt the scream, exhale, release life’s rapture. Everything is blooming. Everything is flying. Everything is screaming, choking on its screams. Laughter. Running. Let-down hair. That is all there is to life.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

I see nothing for the treatment of my misery but the melancholy and very local palliative of articulate art.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

You lose your immortality when you lose your memory.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

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

By Anonym 13 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Alas! In vain historians pry and probe: The same wind blows, and in the same live robe Truth bends her head to fingers curved cupwise; And with a woman's smile and a child's care Examines something she is holding there Concealed by her own shoulder from our eyes.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

My private tragedy, which cannot, and indeed should not, be anybody's concern, is that I had to abandon my natural idiom, my untrammeled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English, devoid of any of those apparatuses–the baffling mirror, the black velvet backdrop, the implied associations and traditions–which the native illusionist, frac-tails flying, can magically use to transcend the heritage in his own way.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Usually I read several books at a time - old books, new books, fiction, nonfiction, verse, anything - and when the bedside heap of a dozen volumes or so has dwindled to two or three, which generally happens by the end of one week, I accumulate another pile.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. 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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

And yet I am happy. Yes, happy. I swear. I swear that I am happy...What does it matter that I am a bit cheap, a bit foul, and that no one appreciates all the remarkable things about me—my fantasy, my erudition, my literary gift…I am happy that I can gaze at myself, for any man is absorbing—yes, really absorbing! ... I am happy—yes, happy!

By Anonym 14 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

My very photogenic mother died in a freak accident (picnic, lightning) when I was three, and, save for a pocket of warmth in the darkest past, nothing of her subsists within the hollows and dells of memory, over which, if you can still stand my style (I am writing under observation), the sun of my infancy had set: surely, you all know those redolent remnants of day suspended, with the midges, about some hedge in bloom or suddenly entered and traversed by the rambler, at the bottom of a hill, in the summer dusk; a furry warmth, golden midges.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Queer, how I misinterpreted the designations of doom.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Even while writing his book, he had become painfully aware how little he knew his own planet while attempting to piece together another one from jagged bits filched from deranged brains.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Neither in environment nor in heredity can I find the exact instrument that fashioned me, the a.non.y.muse roller that passed upon my life a certain intricate watermark whose unique design becomes visible when the lamp of art is made to shine through life's foolscap.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

There is an old American saying 'He who lives in a glass house should not try to kill two birds with one stone.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Imagination without knowledge leads no farther than the back yard of primitive art, the child's scrawl on the fence, and the crank's message in the market place. Art is never simple.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

For my nymphet I needed a diminutive with a lyrical lilt to it. One of the most limpid and luminous letters is "L". The suffix "-ita" has a lot of Latin tenderness, and this I required too. Hence: Lolita. However, it should not be pronounced as you and most Americans pronounce it: Low-lee-ta, with a heavy, clammy "L" and a long "o". No, the first syllable should be as in "lollipop", the "L" liquid and delicate, the "lee" not too sharp. Spaniards and Italians pronounce it, of course, with exactly the necessary note of archness and caress. Another consideration was the welcome murmur of its source name, the fountain name: those roses and tears in "Dolores." My little girl's heartrending fate had to be taken into account together with the cuteness and limpidity. Dolores also provided her with another, plainer, more familiar and infantile diminutive: Dolly, which went nicely with the surname "Haze," where Irish mists blend with a German bunny—I mean, a small German hare.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

I not only debar too definite a planet from any role in my story – from the role every dot and full stop should play in my story (which I see as a kind of celestial chart).

By Anonym 13 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

If I correctly understand the sense of this succinct observation, our poet suggests here that human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

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.

By Anonym 17 Sep

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

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

By Anonym 13 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Genius is finding the invisible link between things.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

A late arrival had the impression of lots of loud people unnecessarily grouped within a smoke-blue space between two mirrors gorged with reflections. Because, I suppose, Cynthia wished to be the youngest in the room, the women she used to invite, married or single, were, at the best, in their precarious forties; some of them would bring from their homes, in dark taxis, intact vestiges of good looks, which, however, they lost as the party progressed. It has always amazed me - the capacity sociable weekend revelers have of finding almost at once, by a purely empiric but very precise method, a common denominator of drunkenness, to which everybody loyally sticks before descending, all together, to the next level. The rich friendliness of the matrons was marked by tomboyish overtones, while the fixed inward look of amiably tight men was like a sacrilegious parody of pregnancy. Although some of the guests were connected in one way or another with the arts, there was no inspired talk, no wreathed, elbow-propped heads, and of course no flute girls. From some vantage point where she had been sitting in a stranded mermaid pose on the pale carpet with one or two younger fellows, Cynthia, her face varnished with a film of beaming sweat, would creep up on her knees, a proffered plate of nuts in one hand, and crisply tap with the other the athletic leg of Cochran or Corcoran, an art dealer, ensconced, on a pearl-grey sofa, between two flushed, happily disintegrating ladies. At a further stage there would come spurts of more riotous gaiety. Corcoran or Coransky would grab Cynthia or some other wandering woman by the shoulder and lead her into a corner to confront her with a grinning imbroglio of private jokes and rumors, whereupon, with a laugh and a toss of her head, he would break away. And still later there would be flurries of intersexual chumminess, jocular reconciliations, a bare fleshy arm flung around another woman's husband (he standing very upright in the midst of a swaying room), or a sudden rush of flirtatious anger, of clumsy pursuit-and the quiet half smile of Bob Wheeler picking up glasses that grew like mushrooms in the shade of chairs. ("The Vane Sisters")

By Anonym 14 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Man exists only insofar as he is separated from his surroundings. The cranium is a space-traveler's helmet. Stay inside or you perish.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Listen: I am ideally happy. My happiness is a kind of challenge. As I wander along the streets and the squares and the paths by the canal, absently sensing the lips of dampness through my worn soles, I carry proudly my ineffable happiness. The centuries will roll by, and schoolboys will yawn over the history of our upheavals; everything will pass, but my happiness , dear, my happiness will remain,in the moist reflection of a street lamp, in the cautious bend of stone steps that descend into the canal's black waters, in the smiles of a dancing couple, in everything with which God so generously surrounds human loneliness.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

It is hard, I submit, to loathe bloodshed, including war, more than I do, but it is still harder to exceed my loathing of the very nature of totalitarian states in which massacre is only an administrative detail.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Why do those people guess so much and shave so little, and are so disdainful of hearing aids?

By Anonym 15 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Toska - noun /ˈtō-skə/ - Russian word roughly translated as sadness, melancholia, lugubriousness. "No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

You have to be an artist and a madman...

By Anonym 14 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

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.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Running in the wind, in the pollen and dust, a flower in flight

By Anonym 14 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

The evolution of sense is, in a sense, the evolution of nonsense.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

I don't want an elderly gentleman from Vienna with an umbrella inflicting his dreams upon me.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

There are gentle souls who would pronounce Lolita meaningless because it does not teach them anything. I am neither a reader nor a writer of didactic fiction...For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

The pleasures of writing correspond exactly to the pleasures of reading

By Anonym 20 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

Where is the happiness, the sunshine, where are those thick skittles of wood which crashed and bounced so nicely, where is my bicycle with the low handlebars and the big gear? It seems there's a law which says that nothing ever vanishes, that matter is indestructible; therefore the chips from my skittles and the spokes of my bicycle still exist somewhere to this day. The pity of it is that I'll never find them again - never.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

I talk in a daze, I walk in a maze I cannot get out, said the starling

By Anonym 13 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

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.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Vladimir Nabokov

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…