JM: quoting an interview with Jorio Dauster: “ With Nabokov it was literary love at first sight... through words and images he leads the reader to inquire himself , for example, about the color of the shadow of an apple…”
Of course neither McGore, who had again painstakingly freed of glossy red ribbons the faceted nudity of an apple, nor the Colonel, once more agreeably flushed after four glasses of port (not to mention two of white Burgundy) had any way of knowing what woes the morrow would bring.” ( La Veneziana ).
What is peculiarly Nabokovian in this description? The glossy red ribbons? The nude apple? Or the telling detail: “faceted,” because it is so precise in relation to the knife-work in the process of peeling it? The rhythm counts, of course but, related to the imagery, is there any component that can be eliminated without harming the line? I vote for “glossy red,” but I still like the suggestion of red, be it glossy or not. There’s one apple reference, though, that I cannot forget: Kinbote’s description of Shade’s hesitations about biting into “the fortress of an apple.”