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Vladimir Nabokov Quotes

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Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “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 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.

— Vladimir Nabokov



Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “And the rest is rust and stardust.”

And the rest is rust and stardust.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “I knew I had fallen in love with Lolita forever; but I also knew she would not be forever Lolita.”

I knew I had fallen in love with Lolita forever; but I also knew she would not be forever Lolita.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quotes: “It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.” — Ursula K. Le Guin

It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.

— Ursula K. Le Guin


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Curiously enough, one cannot read a book; one can only reread it. A good reader, a major reader, and active and creative reader is a rereader.”

Curiously enough, one cannot read a book; one can only reread it. A good reader, a major reader, and active and creative reader is a rereader.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul.”

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

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Play! Invent the world! Invent reality!”

Play! Invent the world! Invent reality!

— Vladimir Nabokov


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

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

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form.”

Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.”

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

— Vladimir Nabokov



Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Caress the detail, the divine detail.”

Caress the detail, the divine detail.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.”

The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “And yet I adore him. I think he’s quite crazy, and with no place or occupation in life, and far from happy, and philosophically irresponsible – and there is absolutely nobody like him.”

And yet I adore him. I think he’s quite crazy, and with no place or occupation in life, and far from happy, and philosophically irresponsible – and there is absolutely nobody like him.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “But in my arms she was always Lolita.”

But in my arms she was always Lolita.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.”

Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Complacency is a state of mind that exists only in retrospective: it has to be shattered before being ascertained.”

Complacency is a state of mind that exists only in retrospective: it has to be shattered before being ascertained.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Was she really beautiful? Was she at least what they call attractive? She was exasperation, she was torture.”

Was she really beautiful? Was she at least what they call attractive? She was exasperation, she was torture.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “The lost glove is happy.”

The lost glove is happy.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “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.”

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.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.”

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.

— Vladimir Nabokov



Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Don’t touch me; I’ll die if you touch me.”

Don’t touch me; I’ll die if you touch me.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Literature was not born the day when a boy crying “wolf, wolf” came running out of the Neanderthal valley with a big gray wolf at his heels; literature was born on the day when a boy came crying “wolf, wolf” and there was no wolf behind him.”

Literature was not born the day when a boy crying “wolf, wolf” came running out of the Neanderthal valley with a big gray wolf at his heels; literature was born on the day when a boy came crying “wolf, wolf” and there was no wolf behind him.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Life is a message scribbled in the dark.”

Life is a message scribbled in the dark.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Nostalgia in reverse, the longing for yet another strange land, grew especially strong in spring.”

Nostalgia in reverse, the longing for yet another strange land, grew especially strong in spring.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “In reading, one should notice and fondle details.”

In reading, one should notice and fondle details.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Knowing you have something good to read before bed is among the most pleasurable of sensations.”

Knowing you have something good to read before bed is among the most pleasurable of sensations.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Mind you, sometimes the angels smoke, hiding it with their sleeves, and when the archangel comes, they throw the cigarettes away: that’s when you get shooting stars.”

Mind you, sometimes the angels smoke, hiding it with their sleeves, and when the archangel comes, they throw the cigarettes away: that’s when you get shooting stars.

— Vladimir Nabokov


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

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 Quote: “Genius is finding the invisible link between things.”

Genius is finding the invisible link between things.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Oh, my Lolita, I have only words to play with!”

Oh, my Lolita, I have only words to play with!

— Vladimir Nabokov



Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “I was weeping again, drunk on the impossible past.”

I was weeping again, drunk on the impossible past.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “The summer night was starless and stirless, with distant spasms of silent lightning.”

The summer night was starless and stirless, with distant spasms of silent lightning.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Perhaps, somewhere, some day, at a less miserable time, we may see each other again.”

Perhaps, somewhere, some day, at a less miserable time, we may see each other again.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it.”

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

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “I talk in a daze, I walk in a maze I cannot get out, said the starling.”

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

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Dark pictures, thrones, the stones that pilgrims kiss Poems that take a thousand years to die But ape the immortality of this Red label on a little butterfly .”

Dark pictures, thrones, the stones that pilgrims kiss Poems that take a thousand years to die But ape the immortality of this Red label on a little butterfly .

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Some people, and I am one of them, hate happy ends. We feel cheated. Harm is the norm.”

Some people, and I am one of them, hate happy ends. We feel cheated. Harm is the norm.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Dear Jesus, do something.”

Dear Jesus, do something.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Everything in the world is beautiful, but Man only recognizes beauty if he sees it either seldom or from afar. Listen, today we are gods! Our blue shadows are enormous! We move in a gigantic, joyful world!”

Everything in the world is beautiful, but Man only recognizes beauty if he sees it either seldom or from afar. Listen, today we are gods! Our blue shadows are enormous! We move in a gigantic, joyful world!

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “I have rewritten – often several times – every word I have ever published. My pencils outlast their erasers.”

I have rewritten – often several times – every word I have ever published. My pencils outlast their erasers.

— Vladimir Nabokov



Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “The square root of I is I.”

The square root of I is I.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “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.”

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 Quote: “I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child.”

I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “What surprises you in life? The marvel of consciousness – that sudden window swinging open on a sunlit landscape amidts the night of non-being.”

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

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “I loved you. I was a pentapod monster, but I loved you. I was despicable and brutal, and turpid, and everything, mais je t’aimais, je t’aimais!”

I loved you. I was a pentapod monster, but I loved you. I was despicable and brutal, and turpid, and everything, mais je t’aimais, je t’aimais!

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Solitude was corrupting me.”

Solitude was corrupting me.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “I still dwelled deep in my elected paradise – a paradise whose skies were the color of hell-flames – but still a paradise.”

I still dwelled deep in my elected paradise – a paradise whose skies were the color of hell-flames – but still a paradise.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Burn pedants in pale fire. Accept no fashions. Be your own fashion. Do not rely on earlier triumphs. Be new at each appearance.”

Burn pedants in pale fire. Accept no fashions. Be your own fashion. Do not rely on earlier triumphs. Be new at each appearance.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Don’t cry, I’m sorry to have deceived you so much, but that’s how life is.”

Don’t cry, I’m sorry to have deceived you so much, but that’s how life is.

— Vladimir Nabokov


Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “We think not in words but in shadows of words.”

We think not in words but in shadows of words.

— Vladimir Nabokov


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