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Vladimir Nabokov's Quotes

Vladimir Nabokov profile photo

Born: 1970-01-01
Profession: Novelist
Nation: American
Biography of Vladimir Nabokov

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Discussion in class, which means letting twenty young blockheads and two cocky neurotics discuss something that neither their teacher nor they know.

Tags: Means, Teacher, Young

I cannot conceive how anybody in his right mind should go to a psychoanalyst.

Tags: Anybody, Cannot, Mind

A masterpiece of fiction is an original world and as such is not likely to fit the world of the reader.

Tags: Fiction, Fit, Original

All my stories are webs of style and none seems at first blush to contain much kinetic matter. For me style is matter.

Tags: Matter, Seems, Style

The more gifted and talkative one's characters are, the greater the chances of their resembling the author in tone or tint of mind.

Tags: Characters, Greater, Mind

A novelist is, like all mortals, more fully at home on the surface of the present than in the ooze of the past.

Tags: Home, Past, Present

I would like to spare the time and effort of hack reviewers and, generally, persons who move their lips when reading.

Tags: Effort, Reading, Time

It is a short walk from the hallelujah to the hoot.

Tags: Hallelujah, Short, Walk

No author has created with less emphasis such pathetic characters as Chekhov has.

Tags: Characters, Less, Pathetic

Nothing is more exhilarating than philistine vulgarity.

Tags: Philistine, Vulgarity

The good, the admirable reader identifies himself not with the boy or the girl in the book, but with the mind that conceived and composed that book.

Tags: Girl, Good, Mind

There are aphorisms that, like airplanes, stay up only while they are in motion.

Tags: Motion, Stay, While

There is only one school of literature - that of talent.

Tags: Literature, School, Talent

Turning one's novel into a movie script is rather like making a series of sketches for a painting that has long ago been finished and framed.

Tags: Making, Movie, Rather

You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.

Tags: Count, Fancy, Style

I have often noticed that after I had bestowed on the characters of my novels some treasured item of my past, it would pine away in the artificial world where I had so abruptly placed it.

Tags: After, Away, Past

It is hard, I submit, to loathe bloodshed, including war, more than I do, but it is still harder to exceed my loathing of the very nature of totalitarian states in which massacre is only an administrative detail.

Tags: Hard, Nature, War

Happy is the novelist who manages to preserve an actual love letter that he received when he was young within a work of fiction, embedded in it like a clean bullet in flabby flesh and quite secure there, among spurious lives.

Tags: Happy, Love, Work

There is nothing in the world that I loathe more than group activity, that communal bath where the hairy and slippery mix in a multiplication of mediocrity.

Tags: Activity, Group, Mediocrity

Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man.

Tags: Known, Literature, Sweetest

My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.

Tags: Music, Simple, Stupidity

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.

Tags: Between, Light, Sense

I think it is all a matter of love: the more you love a memory, the stronger and stranger it is.

Tags: Love, Matter, Memory

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

Tags: Once, Past, Smell

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.

Tags: Become, Feeling, Words

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

Tags: Exists, Mind, State
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A work of art has no importance whatever to society. It is only important to the individual.

Tags: Art, Society, Work

To play safe, I prefer to accept only one type of power: the power of art over trash, the triumph of magic over the brute.

Tags: Accept, Art, Power

Life is a great sunrise. I do not see why death should not be an even greater one.

Tags: Death, Great, Life

Existence is a series of footnotes to a vast, obscure, unfinished masterpiece.

Tags: Existence, Obscure, Series

Revelation can be more perilous than Revolution.

Tags: Perilous, Revelation, Revolution

Genius is an African who dreams up snow.

Tags: Dreams, Genius, Snow

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

Tags: Child, Speak, Write

I confess, I do not believe in time.

Tags: Confess, Time

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

Tags: Poet, Scientist, Writer

Caress the detail, the divine detail.

Tags: Caress, Detail, Divine

Imagination, the supreme delight of the immortal and the immature, should be limited. In order to enjoy life, we should not enjoy it too much.

Tags: Enjoy, Immature, Life

Satire is a lesson, parody is a game.

Tags: Game, Lesson, Satire

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

Tags: Cheated, Happy, Hate

Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words.

Tags: Irrational, Poetry, Words

Style and Structure are the essence of a book; great ideas are hogwash.

Tags: Book, Great, Ideas

The evolution of sense is, in a sense, the evolution of nonsense.

Tags: Evolution, Nonsense, Sense

The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.

Tags: Cannot, Sea, Whole
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