Nadav Spiegelman

Pale Fire

Vladimir Nabokov
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It is true that, as usually happens to newcomers, I was told I had chosen the worst winter in years—and
a certain ferocious lady at whose club I had refused to speak on the subject of “The Hally Vally” (as she put it, confusing Odin’s Hall with the title of a Finnish epic), said to me in the middle of a grocery store, “You are a remarkably disagreeable person. I fail to see how John and Sybil can stand you,” and, exasperated by my polite smile, she added: “What’s more, you are insane.”
His misshapen body, that gray mop of abundant hair, the yellow nails of his pudgy fingers, the bags under his lusterless eyes, were only intelligible if regarded as the waste products eliminated from his intrinsic self by the same forces of perfection which purified and chiseled his verse. He was his own cancellation.
interdentally clogged pocket comb,
[Nadav’s note: referring to the teeth of the comb. clever]
double helping of elastic French fries,
Oleg walked in front: his shapely buttocks encased in tight indigo cotton moved alertly, and his own erect radiance, rather than his flambeau, seemed to illume with leaps of light the low ceiling and crowding walls.
“reality” is neither the subject nor the object of true art which creates its own special reality having nothing to do with the average “reality” perceived by the communal eye.
His feelings (gratitude, exhaustion, pleasant warmth, drowsiness and so on) were too obvious to need description. A
“of course, God might choose His people but man should choose his expressions.”
a good Zemblan Christian is taught that true faith is not there to supply pictures or maps, but that it should quietly content itself with a warm haze of pleasurable anticipation.
SHADE: Why must one always quote St. Augustine to me?
(a farcical pedant of whom the less said the better);
Do not try to explain to me what your lawyer tells you but have him explain it to my lawyer, and he will explain it to me. My work at the university is
If I correctly understand the sense of this succinct observation, our poet suggests here that human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece.
I was brought up by dear bizarre Aunt Maud, A poet and a painter with a taste For realistic objects interlaced With grotesque growths and images of doom.
a whisper softer than a kiss).
They were of the sort that is not really supposed to be looked at, pictures that exist merely as general notions of pictures to meet the humble ornamental needs of some corridor or waiting room: