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Vladimir Nabokov Quotes


Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a multilingual Russian-American novelist and short story writer.
(1899c - 1977)

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

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

A work of art has no importance whatever to society. It is only important to the individual.
 

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

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

Caress the detail, the divine detail.
 

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

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

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

Genius is an African who dreams up snow.
[Genius]
 

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.
 

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

I confess, I do not believe in time.
 

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.
 

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

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

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

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.
 

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

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.
 


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