Vladimir Nabokov Quotes

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

It's a pity one can't imagine what one can't compare to anything. Genius is an African who dreams up snow... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

I confess, I do not believe in time... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

Genius is an African who dreams up snow... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

Caress the detail, the divine detail... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

Revelation can be more perilous than Revolution... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

Nothing is more exhilarating than philistine vulgarity... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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

By: Vladimir Nabokov

Satire is a lesson, parody is a game... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

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... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov

The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea... view

By: Vladimir Nabokov