Quotes by: Vladimir Nabokov
Nabokov in Montreux, 1969
||Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov
22 April [O.S. 10 April] 1899a
Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
||2 July 1977
||The Defense (1930)
The Gift (1938)
Bend Sinister (1945-46)
Pale Fire (1962)
Speak, Memory (1936–1966)
Ada, or Ardor (1968)
I would like to spare the time and effort of hack reviewers and, generally, persons who move their lips when reading.
The more gifted and talkative one's characters are, the greater the chances of their resembling the author in tone or tint of mind.
Complacency is a state of mind that exists only in retrospective: it has to be shattered before being ascertained.
Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it.
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.
Some people, and I am one of them, hate happy ends. We feel cheated. Harm is the norm.
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.
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.
Life is a great sunrise. I do not see why death should not be an even greater one.
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.
All my stories are webs of style and none seems at first blush to contain much kinetic matter. For me style is matter.
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.
Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words.
I think it is all a matter of love: the more you love a memory, the stronger and stranger it is.
A masterpiece of fiction is an original world and as such is not likely to fit the world of the reader.
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.
Discussion in class, which means letting twenty young blockheads and two cocky neurotics discuss something that neither their teacher nor they know.
No author has created with less emphasis such pathetic characters as Chekhov has.
I cannot conceive how anybody in his right mind should go to a psychoanalyst.