Vladimir Nabokov

(1899-1977 / Saint Petersburg)

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes

  • ''I felt proud of myself. I had stolen the honey of a spasm without impairing the morals of a minor.''
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. Lolita, pt. I, ch. 14.
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  • ''To think that between a Hamburger and a Humburger, she would—invariably, with icy precision—plump for the former.''
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. Lolita, pt. II, ch. 3.
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  • ''If, from the very first, the action of the play is absurd, it is because this is the way mad Waltz—before the play starts—imagines it is going to be....''
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. The Waltz Invention, foreword (1966).
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  • ''You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.''
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. Lolita, pt. 1, ch. 1 (1955).
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  • ''I looked up from the letter and was about to—There was no Lo to behold.''
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. Lolita, pt. II, ch. 19 (1955).
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  • ''A few words more about Mrs. Humbert while the going is good (a bad accident is to happen quite soon).''
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. Lolita, pt. I, ch. 19 (1958).
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  • ''Why is it so difficult—so degradingly difficult—to bring the notion of Time into mental focus and keep it there for inspection? What an effort, what fumbling, what irritating fatigue!''
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. Van, in Ada, pt. IV, ch. 1 (1969). On the texture of time.
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  • ''The best part of a writer's biography is not the record of his adventures but the story of his style.''
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. Vogue, interview (1969).
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  • ''Satire is a lesson, parody is a game.''
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature, interview (Spring 1967).
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  • ''I am not concerned with so-called "sex" at all. Anybody can imagine those elements of animality. A greater endeavor lures me on: to fix once for all the perilous magic of nymphets.''
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. Lolita, pt. I, ch. 29.
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