NABOKV-L post 0024464, Sun, 11 Aug 2013 15:10:31 -0300

[SIGHTING] Epigraphs chosen by or from Vladimir Nabokov
In "The Art of the Epigraph - How Great Books Begin," compiled and edited by Rosemary Ahern, I discovered references to two epigraphs that were quoted by Nabokov in Pale Fire and in The Gift, and to one book citing Nabokov's Speak,Memory..

"All one could do was to glimpse, amid the haze and chimeras, something real ahead, just as persons endowed with an unusual persistence of diurnal cerebration are able to perceive in their deepest sleed, somewhere beyond the throes of an entangled and inept nightmare, the ordered reality of the waking hour." V.Nabokov, Speak,Memory.

an epigraph in Mary Gaitskill's Two Girls, Fat and Thin (1991)

On p 117: "This reminds me of the ludicrous account he gave Mr. Langton, of the despicable state of a young gentleman of good family. "Sir, when I heard of him last, he was running about town shooting cats." And then in a sort of kindly reverie, he bethought himself of his own favorite cat, and said, "But Hodge shan't be shot: no, no, Hodge shall not be shot." - James Boswell. The Life of Samuel Johnson.
followed by an Ed. note:
"Hodge survived the (possible imagined) Great London Cat Massacre and is immortalized in a statue that stands outside Dr. Johnson's former home in Gough Square. As for Nabokov, his affection for cats was slightly less warm. He was once tormented by a noisy Siamese named Bandit who came with a house the writer rented in Ithaca, New York. In an effort to find peace, he would barricade himself in the study, Bandit would only try to win Nabokov over by bringing in offerings of dead mice and playing hockey with the corpses against the study door."

"An oak is a tree. A rose is a flower. A deer is an animal. A sparrow is a bird. Russia is our fatherland. Death is inevitable." F.Smirnovski, A Textbook of Russian Grammar
an epigraph in The Gift (1963) by Vladimir Nabokov.

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors:,
Visit Zembla:
View Nabokv-L policies:
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:"

Manage subscription options: