|One night between sunset and river
On the old bridge we stood, you and I,
Will you ever forget it, I queried,
That particular swift that went by?
And you answered, so earnestly: Never!
Vladimir Nabokov, The Swift
INTERVIEWER: In what time would you prefer to live?
NABOKOV: In the coming days of silent planes and graceful aircycles, and cloudless silvery skies, and a universal system of padded underground roads to which trucks shall be relegated like Morlocks. As to the past, I would not mind retrieving from various corners of space-time certain lost comforts, such as baggy trousers and long, deep bathtubs.
|In spite of everything I loved you, and will go on loving you—on my knees, with my shoulders drawn back, showing my heels to the headsman and straining my goose neck—even then. And afterwards—perhaps most of all afterwards—I shall love you, and one day we shall have a real, all-embracing explanation, and then perhaps we shall somehow fit together, you and I, and turn ourselves in such a way that we form one pattern, and solve the puzzle: draw a line from point A to point B…without looking, or, without lifting the pencil…or in some other way…we shall connect the points, draw the line, and you and I shall form that unique design for which I yearn. If they do this kind of thing to me every morning, they will get me trained and I shall become quite wooden.|
Vladimir Nabokov, Invitation to a Beheading