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Top 500 Vladimir Nabokov Quotes (2023 Update)
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Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Unless a film of flesh envelops us, we die. Man exists only insofar as he is separated from his surroundings. The cranium is a space-traveler’s helmet. Stay inside or you perish. Death is divestment, death is communion.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “The thought, when written down, becomes less oppressive, but some thoughts are like a cancerous tumor: you express is, you excise it, and it grows back worse than before.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “The subject may be crude and repulsive. Its expression is artistically modulated and balanced. This is style. This is art. This is the only thing that really matters in books.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Feeling a bit nervous, as most people do at the prospect of seeing a doctor, I thought I would buy on my way to him something soothing to prevent an accelerated pulse from misleading credulous science.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “The shock of her death froze something in me. The child I loved, was gone, but I kept looking for her – long after I had left my own childhood behind. The poison was in the wound, you see. And the wound wouldn’t heal.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “There is only one school: that of talent.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Dostoevky’s lack of taste, his monotonous dealings with persons suffering with pre-Freudian complexes, the way he has of wallowing in the tragic misadventures of human dignity – all this is difficult to admire.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “When I receive a new novel from a hopeful publisher – “hoping that I like the book as much as he does” – I check first of all how much dialog there is, and if it looks too abundant or too sustained, I shut the book with a bang.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “A masterpiece of fiction is an original world and as such is not likely to fit the world of the reader.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “There are some varieties of fiction that I never touch – mystery stories, for instance, which I abhor, and historical novels. I also detest the so-called “powerful” novel – full of commonplace obscenities and torrents of dialog.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “I esteem my colleagues as I do my own self, I esteem them for two things: because they are able to find perfect felicity in specialized knowledge and because they are not apt to commit physical murder.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Human thought, flying on the trapezes of the star-filled universe, with mathematics stretched beneath, was like an acrobat working with a net but suddenly noticing that in reality there is no net.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “The sense of literary creation is to portray ordinary objects as they will be reflected in the kindly mirrors of future times; to find in the objects around us the fragrant tenderness that only posterity will discern and appreciate in far-off times when every trifle of our plain everyday life will become exquisite and festive in its own right: the times when a man who might put on the most ordinary jacket of today will be dressed up for an elegant masquerade.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Unfortunately his urge to write had suddenly petered out and he did not know what to do with himself. He was not sleepy having slept after dinner. The brandy only added to the nuisance. He was a big heavy man of the hairy sort with a somewhat Beethovenlike face. He had lost his wife in November. He had taught philosophy. He was exceedingly virile. His name was Adam Krug.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “As she began losing track of herself, she thought it proper to inform... them... that what death amounted to was only a more complete assortment of the infinite fractions of solitude.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “And yet I shall try again: “they are murdering me!“ – all right, all together once more: “they are murdering me!” and again: “murdering”... I want to write this in such a way that you will cover your ears, your membranaceous, simian ears that you hide under strands of beautiful feminine hair – but I know them, I see them, I pinch them, the cold little things, I worry them with my fingers to somehow warm them, bring them to life, render them human, force them to hear me.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Where, where... ” M’sieur Pierre mimicked him. “You know where. Off to do chop-chop.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “We live in a stocking which is in the process of being turned inside out, without our ever knowing for sure to what phase of the process our moment of consciousness corresponds.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “The only consciousness that persists in the hereafter is the consciousness of pain.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Lighted advertisements went running up dark red facades and dissipating again. He would pass girls; he would turn to look; but the prettier the face, the harder it was to take the plunge.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Light in comparison with darkness is a void.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Nothing could be more humiliating to a rational creature than being required to encourage the development of a Base conditional reflex by stopping at a red light when there was not an earthly soul around, heeled or wheeled.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Certain tight parentheses have been opened and allowed to spill their still active contents.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “It’s exactly my sense of existing – a fragment, a wisp of color.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Raising a cold eye from book to clock in the positively sultry Beardsley College library, among bulky young women caught and petrified in the overflow of human knowledge.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “One was the common one with writers of his type: the bridging of the abyss lying between expression and thought; the maddening feeling that the right words, the only words are awaiting you on the opposite bank in the misty distance, and the shudderings of the still unclothed thought clamouring for them on this side of the abyss. He.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “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.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “With a heavy heart I left the house and walked through the spotted blaze of the sun to my car. Two other cars were parked on both sides of it, and I had some trouble squeezing out.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “The strange mirage-shimmer standing in for death should not appear too soon in the chronicle and yet it should permeate the first amorous scenes.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “In those years, that marvelous mess of constellations, nebulae, interstellar gaps and all the rest of the awesome show provoked in me an indescribable sense of nausea, of utter panic, as if I were hanging from earth upside down on the brink of infinite space, with terrestrial gravity still holding me by the heels but about to release me any moment.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “No difference exists between American and European manners. A proletarian from Chicago can be just as Philistine as an English duke.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “For I do not exist: there exist but thousands of mirrors that reflect me. With every acquaintance I make, the population of phantoms resembling me increases.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Two silent time zones had now merged to form the standard time of one man’s fate; and it is not impossible that the poet in New Wye and the thug in New York awoke that morning at the same crushed beat of their Timekeeper’s stopwatch.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Everything he said should be followed by a big sic.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “The Goldsworth castle became particularly solitary after that turning point at dusk which resembles so much the nightfall of the mind. Stealthy.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “If told I am a bad poet, I smile; but if told I am a poor scholar, I reach for my heaviest dictionary.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “In fact I believe that one day a reappraiser will come and declare that, far from having been a frivolous firebird, I was a rigid moralist: kicking sin, cuffing stupidity, ridiculing the vulgar and cruel – and assigning sovereign power to tenderness, talent and pride.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “The lovely thing about humanity is that at times one may be unaware of doing right, but one is always aware of doing wrong.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “The determinate scheme by stripping the sunrise of it’s surprise would erase all sunrays.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Knight seemed to him to be constantly playing some game of his own invention, without telling his partners its rules.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Every author believes, when his first book is published, that those that acclaim it are his personal friends or impersonal peers, while its revilers can only be envious rogues and nonentities.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Thus a man looking through a tremendous telescope does not see the cirri of an Indian summer above his charmed orchard, but does see, as my regretted colleague, the late Professor Alexander Ivanchenko, twice saw, the swarming of hesperozoa in a humid valley of the planet Venus.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “What further concentration is needed, what added intensity must one’s gaze attain, for the brain to enslave the visual image of a person?”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “I am quite willing to admit that they are also a deception but right now I believe in them so much that I infect them with truth.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “I was always lonely and I am lonely still.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “A red backless slipper slowly slid off her foot... and Franz, bending down after it, plunged softly into dark slumber.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Tropes are the dreams of speech.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “Oh no, I do not gloat over my own person, I do not get all hot wrestling with my soul in a darkened room; I have no desires, save the desire to express myself – in defiance of all the world’s muteness.”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “But then what should I have done with you, Nina, how should I have disposed of the store of sadness that had gradually accumulated as a result of our seemingly carefree, but really hopeless meetings?”
Vladimir Nabokov Quote: “I would like to spare the time and effort of hack reviewers and, generally, persons who move their lips when reading.”
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