Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a Russian-American author, poet, translator, and entomologist who wrote under the pen name Vladimir Sirin.

In 2007, Nabokov’s Lolita (1955) was named fourth on the Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels list.

We have listed down some of the best quotes from Vladimir Nabokov for you.


Best Vladimir Nabokov Quotes

1. “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).

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2. “And the rest is rust and stardust.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

3. “I knew I had fallen in love with Lolita forever; but I also knew she would not be forever Lolita.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

4. “It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

5. “Curiously enough, one cannot read a book; one can only reread it. A good reader, a major reader, and active and creative reader is a rereader.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

6. “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

7. “Play! Invent the world! Invent reality!” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

8. “Some might think that the creativity, imagination, and flights of fancy that give my life meaning are insanity.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

9. “Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

10. “The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

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11. “A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

12. “Caress the detail, the divine detail.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

13. “Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

Top Vladimir Nabokov Quotes

14. “And yet I adore him. I think he’s quite crazy, and with no place or occupation in life, and far from happy, and philosophically irresponsible – and there is absolutely nobody like him.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

15. “But in my arms she was always Lolita.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

16. “Complacency is a state of mind that exists only in retrospective: it has to be shattered before being ascertained.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

17. “Was she really beautiful? Was she at least what they call attractive? She was exasperation, she was torture.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

18. “The lost glove is happy.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

19. “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

20. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

21. “Knowing you have something good to read before bed is among the most pleasurable of sensations.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

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22. “Don’t touch me; I’ll die if you touch me.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

23. “Literature was not born the day when a boy crying “wolf, wolf” came running out of the Neanderthal valley with a big gray wolf at his heels; literature was born on the day when a boy came crying “wolf, wolf” and there was no wolf behind him.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

Famous Vladimir Nabokov Quotes

24. “Mind you, sometimes the angels smoke, hiding it with their sleeves, and when the archangel comes, they throw the cigarettes away: that’s when you get shooting stars.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

25. “Life is a message scribbled in the dark.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

26. “Nostalgia in reverse, the longing for yet another strange land, grew especially strong in spring.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

27. “Perhaps, somewhere, some day, at a less miserable time, we may see each other again.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

28. “The writer’s job is to get the main character up a tree, and then once they are up there, throw rocks at them.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

29. “In reading, one should notice and fondle details.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

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30. “Genius is finding the invisible link between things.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

31. “Oh, my Lolita, I have only words to play with!” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

Popular Vladimir Nabokov Quotes

32. “Everything in the world is beautiful, but Man only recognizes beauty if he sees it either seldom or from afar. Listen, today we are gods! Our blue shadows are enormous! We move in a gigantic, joyful world!” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

33. “I have rewritten – often several times – every word I have ever published. My pencils outlast their erasers.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

34. “I was weeping again, drunk on the impossible past.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

35. “The summer night was starless and stirless, with distant spasms of silent lightning.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

36. “Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

37. “I talk in a daze, I walk in a maze I cannot get out, said the starling.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

38. “Dark pictures, thrones, the stones that pilgrims kiss Poems that take a thousand years to die But ape the immortality of this Red label on a little butterfly.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

39. “Despite our tiffs, despite her nastiness, despite all the fuss and faces she made, and the vulgarity, and the danger, and the horrible hopelessness of it all, I still dwelled deep in my elected paradise – a paradise whose skies were the color of hell-flames – but still a paradise.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

40. “Dear Jesus, do something.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

Inspiring Vladimir Nabokov Quotes

41. “Some people, and I am one of them, hate happy ends. We feel cheated. Harm is the norm.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

42. “Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don’t stop to think, don’t interrupt the scream, exhale, release life’s rapture.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

43. “There is no science without fancy and no art without fact.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

44. “The square root of I is I.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

45. “I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

46. “She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

47. “What surprises you in life? The marvel of consciousness – that sudden window swinging open on a sunlit landscape amidst the night of non-being.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

48. “I still dwelled deep in my elected paradise – a paradise whose skies were the color of hell-flames – but still a paradise.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

49. “I loved you. I was a pentapod monster, but I loved you. I was despicable and brutal, and turpid, and everything, mais je t’aimais, je t’aimais!” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).

50. “Solitude was corrupting me.” ~ (Vladimir Nabokov).


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