Ada Or Ardor: A Family Chronicle(1969) - Vladimir Nabokov Literary Quotes - Quotesmin.com

All Vladimir Nabokov Literary Quotes


Ada Or Ardor: A Family Chronicle Literary Quotes(1969) - Vladimir NabokovRating Mail
"...male lust does not go very far for descriptive felicities!"
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"Ardis Hall—the Ardors and Arbors of Ardis—this is the leitmotiv rippling through Ada, an ample and delightful chronicle, whose principal part is staged in a dream-bright America—for are not our childhood memories comparable to Vineland-born caravelles, indolently encircled by the white birds of dreams?"
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" 'I can never get used [...] to the contrast between the opulence of nature and the squalor of human life.'"
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"...nature is motion and growth."
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"...we simply speak with our wounds; wounds procreate..."
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"Remembrance, like Rembrandt, is dark but festive. Remembered ones dress up for the occasion and sit still. Memory is a photo-studio de luxe on an infinite Fifth Power Avenue."
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"What (Ada asks) are eyes anyway? Two holes in the mask of life. What (she asks) would they mean to a creature from another corpuscle or milk bubble whose organ of sight was (say) an internal parasite resembling the written word 'deified'? What, indeed, would a pair of beautiful (human, lemurian, owlish) eyes mean to anybody if found lying on the seat of a taxi?"
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"All bright kids are depraved."
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"...if people remembered the same they would not be different people."
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"But we are not 'different'! Think and dream are the same in French."
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" 'All our old loves are corpses or wives.' All our sorrows are virgins or whores."
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"Tropes are the dreams of speech."
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"Remembrance, embers and membranes of beauty make artists and morons lose all self-control."
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"Life, love, libraries, have no future."
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"Oh, come, art cannot hurt.
It can and how!"
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"Here a heckler asked, with the arrogant air of one wanting to see a gentleman’s driving license, how did the “Prof” reconcile his refusal to grant the future the status of Time with the fact that it, the future, could hardly be considered nonexistent, since “it possessed at least one future, I mean, feature, involving such an important idea as that of absolute necessity.” Throw him out. Who said **I** shall die?"
[The Texture of Time]
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"...Time is a fluid medium for the culture of metaphors."
[The Texture of Time]
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"Time is rhythm: the insect rhythm of a warm humid night, brain ripple, breathing, the drum in my temple—these are our faithful timekeepers; and reason corrects the feverish beat."
[The Texture of Time]
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"If my eye tells me something about Space, my ear tells me something about Time."
[The Texture of Time]
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" 'Space is a swarming in the eyes, and Time a singing in the ears...'"
[The Texture of Time]
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"Refuting the determinist’s statement more elegantly: unconsciousness, far from awaiting us, with flyback and noose, somewhere ahead, envelops both the Past and the Present from all conceivable sides, being a character not of Time itself but of organic decline natural to all things whether conscious of Time or not. That I know others die is irrelevant to the case."
[The Texture of Time]
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"An individual's life consisted of certain classified things: 'real things' which were unfrequent and priceless, simply 'things' which formed the routine stuff of life; and 'ghost things,' also called 'fogs,' such as fever, toothache, dreadful disappointments, and death. Three or more things occurring at the same time formed a 'tower,' or, if they came in immediate succession, they made a 'bridge.' 'Real towers' and 'real bridges' were the joys of life, and when the towers came in a series, one experienced supreme rapture; it almost never happened, though. In some circumstances, in a certain light, a neutral 'thing' might look or even actually become 'real' or else, conversely, it might coagulate into a fetid 'fog.' When the joy and the joyless happened to be intermixed, simultaneously or along the ramp of duration, one was confronted with 'ruined towers' and 'broken bridges.' "
[Book-specific]
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"During the week following her birthday, Ada's unfortunate fingernails used to stay garnet-stained and after a particularly ecstatic, lost-to-the-world session of scratching, blood literally streamed down her shins—a pity to see, mused her distressed admirer, but at the same time disgracefully fascinating—for we are visitors and investigators in a strange universe, indeed, indeed."
[Book-specific]
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"Now and then, when he detached his organs of locomotion from the lenient ground, and seemed actually to clap his hands in midair, in a miraculous parody of a jump, one wondered if this dreamy indolence of levitation was not a result of the earth’s canceling its pull in a fit of absentminded benevolence. Incidentally, one curious consequence of certain muscular changes and osteal "reclicks" caused by the special training was Van’s inability in later years to shrug his shoulders. Questions for study and discussion: 1. Did both palms leave the ground when Van, while reversed, seemed actually to skip on his hands? 2. Was Van’s adult incapacity to "shrug" things off only physical or did it "correspond" to some archetypal character of his "soul"? 3. Why did Ada burst into tears at the height of Van’s performance?"
[Book-specific]
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"Being unfamiliar with the itinerary of sun and shade in the clearing, he had left his bicycle to endure the blazing beams for at least three hours. Ada mounted it, uttered a yelp of pain, almost fell off, googled, recovered—and the rear tire burst with a comic bang."
[Book-specific]
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