65 Total Quotes

Vladimir Nabokov Quotes

The tiny madman in his padded cell.
Vladimir Nabokov
#Babies #Cell

Here lies the sense of literary creation: to portray ordinary objects as they will be reflected in kindly mirrors of future times. . . . To find in objects around us the fragrant tenderness that only posterity will discern . . .
Vladimir Nabokov
#Creation

Treading the soil of the moon, palpitating its pebbles, tasting the panic and splendor of the event, feeling in the pit of one's stomach the separation from terra - these form the most romantic sensation an explorer has ever known
Vladimir Nabokov
#Exploration

There are aphorisms that, like airplanes, stay up only while they are in motion.
Vladimir Nabokov
#American Novelist #Airplane And Aviation

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
Vladimir Nabokov
#Art

For me, a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm.
Vladimir Nabokov
#Fiction

A novelist is, like all mortals, more fully at home on the surface of the present than in the ooze of the past.
Vladimir Nabokov
#American Novelist #Home

The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.
Vladimir Nabokov
#American Novelist

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.
Vladimir Nabokov
#American Novelist #Common Sense

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. Although the two are identical twins, man, as a rule, views the prenatal abyss with more calm than the one he is heading for (at some forty-five hundred heartbeats an hour). I know, however, of a young chronophobiac who experienced something like panic when looking for the first time at homemade movies that had been taken a few weeks before his birth. He saw a world that was practically unchanged -- the same house, the same people -- and then realized that he did not exist there at all and that nobody mourned his absence. He caught a glimpse of his mother waving from an upstairs window, and that unfamiliar gesture disturbed him, as if it were some mysterious farewell. But what particularly frightened him was the sight of a brand-new baby carriage standing there on the porch, with the smug, encroaching air of a coffin; even that was empty, as if, in the reverse course of events, his very bones had disintegrated.
Vladimir Nabokov
#Common Sense

It is a short walk from the hallelujah to the hoot.
Vladimir Nabokov
#American Novelist

You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.
Vladimir Nabokov
#American Novelist

A work of art has no importance whatever to society. It is only important to the individual.
Vladimir Nabokov
#American Novelist #Art

Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words
Vladimir Nabokov
#Poetry

Style and Structure are the essence of a book; great ideas are hogwash.
Vladimir Nabokov
#American Novelist #Ideas

Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man.
Vladimir Nabokov
#American Novelist #Literature

It's a pity one can't imagine what one can't compare to anything. Genius is an African who dreams up snow.
Vladimir Nabokov
#American Novelist

I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child.
Vladimir Nabokov
#American Novelist

I think it is all a matter of love: the more you love a memory, the stronger and stranger it is
Vladimir Nabokov
#Love

Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it.
Vladimir Nabokov
#American Novelist #Past

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.
Vladimir Nabokov
#American Novelist

Revelation can be more perilous than Revolution.
Vladimir Nabokov
#American Novelist