Tags » Vladimir Nabokov

Pale beauty

“But,” said Marina, “how can one act out ‘radiant,’ what does radiant beauty mean?”
“Pale beauty,” said Pedro helpfully, glancing up at Ada as she passed by, “the beauty for which many men would cut off their members.”

— Vladimir Nabokov, Ada


Orson Welles on Hemingway on Parkinson (1974)

On May 18, 2015, Sadie Stein of The Paris Review wrote a short piece about the great American director Orson Welles waxing lyrical about his odd ‘friendship’ (and rivalry) with great American author Ernest Hemingway (there’s also a mention of great Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov) on Michael Parkinson’s show.  6 more words

chatting and chinking ice

“I found there a number of people who apparently had just arrived and were cheerfully drinking Quilty’s liquor. There was a fat man in an easy chair; and two dark-haired pale young beauties, sisters no doubt, big one and small one (almost a child), demurely sat side by side on a davenport. 32 more words


the art of writing and reading

“It’ll be a long time—a solid century, perhaps—till I am appreciated at my worth. That is, if the art of writing and reading is not quite forgotten by then; and I am afraid it is being rather thoroughly forgotten this last half century, in Germany.” 6 more words


slow, clumsy, blind bullets

“Suddenly dignified, and somewhat morose, he started to walk up the broad stairs, and , shifting my position, but not actually following him up the steps, I fired three or four times in quick succession, wounding him at every blaze; and every time I did it to him, that horrible thing to him, his face would twitch in an absurd clownish manner, as if he were exaggerating the pain; he slowed down, rolled his eyes half closing them and made a feminine “ah!” and he shivered every time a bullet hit him as I if I were tickling him, and every time I got him with those slow, clumsy, blind bullets of mine, he would say under his breath, with a phoney British accent —all the while dreadfully twitching, shivering, smirking, but withal talking in a curiously detached and even amiable manner: “Ah, that hurts, sir, enough! 29 more words


a weak chin and no imagination

“Blunders, gropings, disappointment; surely the Cupid serving him was lefthanded, with a weak chin and no imagination.”

— Vladimir Nabokov, Laughter in the Dark


not unlike Dolly Schiller’s

“Feu. This time I hit something hard. I hit the back of a black rocking chair, not unlike Dolly Schiller’s— my bullet hit the inside surface of its back whereupon it immediately went into a rocking act, so fast and with such zest that any one coming into the room might have been flabbergasted by the double miracle: that chair rocking in a panic all by itself, and the armchair , where my purple target had just been, now void of all live content”

— Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita