"...some Slavists might really think that my translation of Lolita is a hundred times better than the original, but the rattle of my rusty Russian strings only nauseates me now. The history of this translation is a history of disillusionment. Alas, that "wondrous Russian tongue" that, it seemed to me, was waiting for me somewhere, was flowering like a faithful springtime behind a tightly locked gate, whose key I had held in safekeeping for so many years, proved to be nonexistent, and there is nothing behind the gate but charred stumps and a hopeless autumnal distance, and the key in my hand is more like a skeleton key."
Postscript to the Russian Edition of Lolita: Vladimir Nabokov. Translated by Earl D. Sampson
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