Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

Vladimir
Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov
1899
1977

Russian-born American Novelist, Poet, Critic

Author Quotes

The more gifted and talkative one's characters are, the greater the chances of their resembling the author in tone or tint of mind.

The smooth sizzle of a passing motorcar.

Then, after all the excitement, I shall experience a certain satiation of suffering--perhaps on the mountain pass to a kind of happiness which it is too early for me to know (I know only that when I reach it, it will be with pen in hand).

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.

This, to use an American term in which discovery, retribution, torture, death, eternity appear in the shape of a singularly repulsive nutshell, was it.

Treading the soil of the moon, palpitating its pebbles, tasting the panic and splendor of the event, feeling in the pit of one's stomach the separation from terra - these form the most romantic sensation an explorer has ever known.

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.

What moment in that gradual decay does resurrection choose? What year? Who has the stopwatch? Who rewinds the tape? Are some less lucky, or do all escape? A syllogism; other men die but I am not another: therefore I'll not die.

Why should I tolerate a perfect stranger at the bedside of my mind?

The day, like the previous days, dragged sluggishly by in a kind of insipid idleness, devoid even of that dreamy expectancy which can make idleness so enchanting.

The more you love a memory, the stronger and stranger it is.

The softness and fragility of baby animals caused us the same intense pain. She wanted to be a nurse in some famished Asiatic country; I wanted to be a famous spy.

Theoretically there is no absolute proof that one's awakening in the morning (the finding oneself again in the saddle of one's personality) is not really a quite unprecedented event, a perfectly original birth.

There is nothing more atrociously cruel than an adored child.

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.

Turning one's novel into a movie script is rather like making a series of sketches for a painting that has long ago been finished and framed.

We hasten to alienate the very fates we intended to woo.

What surprises you in life? The marvel of consciousness -- that sudden window swinging open on a sunlit landscape amidts the night of non-being.

With somebody's lost pair of sun-glasses for only witness.

The days of my youth, as I look back on them; seem to fly away from me in a flurry of pale repetitive scraps like those morning snow storms of used tissue paper that a train passenger sees whirling in the wake of the observation can.

The novel is not "a crazy quilt of bits"; it is a logical sequence of psychological events: the movements of stars may seem crazy to the simpleton, but wise men know the comets come back.

The spiral is a spiritualized circle. In the spiral form, the circle, uncoiled, unwound, has ceased to be vicious; it has been set free.

There are aphorisms that, like airplanes, stay up only while they are in motion.

There is only one real number: one. And love, apparently, is the best exponent of this singularity.

Thus, in pornographic novels, action has to be limited to the copulation of clichés.

Author Picture
First Name
Vladimir
Last Name
Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov
Birth Date
1899
Death Date
1977
Bio

Russian-born American Novelist, Poet, Critic