“This is, I believe, it: not the crude anguish of physical death but the incomparable pangs of the mysterious mental maneuver needed to pass from one state of being to another. Easy, you know, does it, son.”

-Vladimir Nabokov, Transparent Things

(Spent the predawn hours rereading my favorite author. Feeling good.)

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2 comments

  1. My father had this quote hanging on his wall for years, and I was aware of it in the way that you are aware of the drapes or the mailman — you saw them every day, but if someone asked you today whether the drapes fabric was woven with a diamond patter or if the mailman wore a watch, you’d squint your way back to childhood and the images would be hazy — you can see it either way, but you’ve no idea which is correct. I can never remember how the quote begins and always end up googling, “This, then, is it, son: not the” and adding “Nabokov”, and when that gets me nowhere, I start rearranging words, and sooner or later, I find it. Of course, I never write it down, sure I’ll remember this time, but I end up at Google every time. Thanks for sharing these words!

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