Best Vladimir Nabokov Quotes I Wish I Had Read

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We have compiled a list of Vladimir Nabokov quotes for you to read.

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Vladimir Nabokov Quotes

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

 

The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.

 

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

 

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

 

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.

 

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

 

Caress the detail, the divine detail.

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

Genius is an African who dreams up snow.

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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. 

 

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 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 confess, I do not believe in time.

 

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

 

Style and Structure are the essence of a book; great ideas are hogwash. Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words.

 

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

 

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. 

 

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

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