Vladimir Nabokov’s 1951 poem “Voluptates Tactionum” heralds the coming supremacy of the tactile sense, raising the issue of the importance of this sense in Nabokov’s own work. In both Lolita and Ada, the tactile sense always appears last, marking the possession of the loved one. The fact that sight is mentioned first illustrates an opposition between these two senses. Such opposition, and the link between blindness and tactility, is closely connected with the difficulty for the writer to create tangible writing, that may be truly felt by the reader. Nabokov’s perception of the tactile sense may be linked to his focus on the concreteness of the written text. Only tangible writing could allow the reader to decipher the “message scribbled in the dark” (Pale Fire).
Reigner, Léopold. 'Tactio has come of age’: the Tactile Sense in Nabokov’s Lolita, Pale Fire and Ada. 2020
'Tactio has come of age’: the Tactile Sense in Nabokov’s Lolita, Pale Fire and Ada
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The Five Senses in Nabokov's Works