Tags » Vladimir Nabokov

My Literary Neighborhood

There ought to be a room in every house to swear in.                                    Mark Twain

I live near Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass, in a “Harlow buidling.” These beautiful brick structures were designed by Hamilton Harlow in the early decades of the twentieth century and were designed to blend in with the features of Harvard University buildings – red brick, elegant ironwork, and leaded glass windows. 573 more words

irresistible sister secret trysts

“During the next days, Dorothy used her leisure to spy upon Ada. The woman was sure of three things: that Ada had a lover in Switzerland; that Van was her brother; and that he was arranging for his irresistible sister secret trysts with the person she had loved before her marriage. 24 more words

Literature

inept calisthenically

“The collection of Uncle Dan’s Oriental Erotica prints turned out to be artistically second-rate and inept calisthenically. In the most hilarious, and expensive, picture, a Mongolian woman with an inane oval face surmounted by a hideous hair-do was shown communicating sexually with six rather plump, blank-faced gymnasts in what looked like a display window jammed with screens, potted plants, silks, paper fans and crockery. 124 more words

Literature

spite and pity

“The modest narrator has to remind the rereader of all this, because in April (my favorite month), 1869 (by no means a mirabilic year), on St. 28 more words

Literature

What are dreams?

“What are dreams? A random sequence of scenes, trivial or tragic, viatic or static, fantastic or familiar, featuring more or less plausible events patched up with grotesque details, and recasting dead people in new settings.”

— Vladimir Nabokov, Ada

Literature

the dust and mirages of the communal mind

“Who cares,” cried Van, “who cares about all those stale myths, what does it matter— Jove or Jehovah, spire or cupola, mosques in Moscow, or bronzes and bonzes, and clerics, and relics, and deserts with bleached camel ribs? 14 more words

Literature

rather bizarre, but incontestably trustworthy

“Van was positive that not once during a month of love-making had he failed to take all necessary precautions, sometimes rather bizarre, but incontestably trustworthy, and had lately acquired the sheathlike contraceptive device that in Ladore county only barbershops, for some odd but ancient reason, were allowed to sell.”

— Vladimir Nabokov, Ada

Literature