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Quotations From VLADIMIR NABOKOV


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  • I'm really sorry that I cheated so much, but I guess that's just the way things are.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian. Lolita Haze (James Mason), Lolita, saying goodbye to Humbert Humbert as she is now married and pregnant (1962).

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  • 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.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. Lolita: A Screenplay, foreword (1974). Of his constitutional unsuitability as a dramatist, regarding his being asked initially to do the screenplay of Lolita.

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  • I haven't missed you. In fact, I've been revoltingly unfaithful to you.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian. Lolita Haze (Sue Lyon), Lolita, when Humbert, her stepfather, picks her up at camp following the death of her mother (1962).
  • Complacency is a state of mind that exists only in retrospective: it has to be shattered before being ascertained.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. Lolita: A Screenplay, foreword (1974).
  • I am not concerned with so-called "sex" at all. Anybody can imagine those elements of animality. A greater endeavor lures me on: to fix once for all the perilous magic of nymphets.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. Lolita, pt. I, ch. 29.

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  • I felt proud of myself. I had stolen the honey of a spasm without impairing the morals of a minor.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. Lolita, pt. I, ch. 14.
  • If, from the very first, the action of the play is absurd, it is because this is the way mad Waltz—before the play starts—imagines it is going to be....
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. The Waltz Invention, foreword (1966).
  • To think that between a Hamburger and a Humburger, she would—invariably, with icy precision—plump for the former.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. Lolita, pt. II, ch. 3.
  • I looked up from the letter and was about to—There was no Lo to behold.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. Lolita, pt. II, ch. 19 (1955).
  • You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. Lolita, pt. 1, ch. 1 (1955).
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