Quotes 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.
– Vladimir Nabokov
Between the age limits of nine and fourteen there occur maidens who, to certain bewitched travelers, twice or many times older than they, reveal their true nature which is not human, but nymphic (that is, demoniac); and these chosen creatures I propose to designate as nymphets.
– Vladimir Nabokov
Genius is an African who dreams up snow.
– Vladimir Nabokov
I confess, I do not believe in time.
– 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.
– Vladimir Nabokov
It is a short walk from the hallelujah to the hoot.
– Vladimir Nabokov
Let the credulous and the vulgar continue to believe that all mental woes can be cured by a daily application of old Greek myths to their private parts.
– Vladimir Nabokov
Style and Structure are the essence of a book; great ideas are hogwash.
– 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.
– 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.
– Vladimir Nabokov
The tiny madman in his padded cell.
– Vladimir Nabokov
There are aphorisms that, like airplanes, stay up only while they are in motion.
– Vladimir Nabokov
You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.
– 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.
– Vladimir Nabokov
Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words.
– Vladimir Nabokov
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
– Vladimir Nabokov
Life is a great sunrise. I do not see why death should not be an even greater one.
– 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.
– Vladimir Nabokov
Discussion in class, which means letting twenty young blockheads and two cocky neurotics discuss something that neither their teacher nor they know.
– Vladimir Nabokov
A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.
– Vladimir Nabokov