Margins: Pale Fire (21)

Oh goodness, I can’t say if I’m grateful to Christopher Hitchens for alerting me to the marvels of Nabokov’s prose (via the more recently deceased man’s memoirs) or deeply unhappy it’s taken me until now. This, for example:

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.


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