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Vladimir Nabokov Quotes

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Vladimir Nabokov
April 22, 1899 - July 2, 1977
Nationality: American
Category: Novelist
Subcategory: American Novelist

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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 confess, I do not believe in time.


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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