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Vladimir Nabokov Quotes and Sayings

I hope you find great value in these Quotes by Vladimir Nabokov from my large collection of motivational and inspirational quotes and sayings.

The evolution of sense is, in a sense,
the evolution of nonsense.
- Vladimir Nabokov

A work of art has no importance whatever to society.
It is only important to the individual.
- Vladimir Nabokov

Turning one's novel into a movie script is rather like
making a series of sketches for a painting that has
long ago been finished and framed.
- Vladimir Nabokov

Nothing is more exhilarating than philistine vulgarity.
- Vladimir Nabokov

 

Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that
was once associated with it.
- Vladimir Nabokov

I confess, I do not believe in time.
- Vladimir Nabokov

Discussion in class, which means letting twenty young
blockheads and two cocky neurotics discuss something
that neither their teacher nor they know.
- Vladimir Nabokov

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It is a short walk from the hallelujah to the hoot.
- Vladimir Nabokov

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous
feeling of the words being there,
written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.
- Vladimir Nabokov

Existence is a series of footnotes to a vast,
obscure, unfinished masterpiece.
- Vladimir Nabokov

The more gifted and talkative one's characters are,
the greater the chances of their resembling the author in tone or tint of mind.
- Vladimir Nabokov

No author has created with less emphasis such pathetic
characters as Chekhov has.
- Vladimir Nabokov

I think it is all a matter of love: the more you love a memory,
the stronger and stranger it is.
- Vladimir Nabokov

The good, the admirable reader identifies himself not
with the boy or the girl in the book,
but with the mind that conceived and composed that book.
- Vladimir Nabokov

There is nothing in the world that I loathe more than group activity,
that communal bath where the hairy and slippery mix
in a multiplication of mediocrity.
- Vladimir Nabokov

Style and Structure are the essence of a book;
great ideas are hogwash.
- Vladimir Nabokov

Genius is an African who dreams up snow.
- Vladimir Nabokov

Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man.
- Vladimir Nabokov

Life is a great sunrise.
I do not see why death should not be an even greater one.
- Vladimir Nabokov

Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words.
- Vladimir Nabokov

Revelation can be more perilous than Revolution.
- Vladimir Nabokov

A masterpiece of fiction is an original world and as
such is not likely to fit the world of the reader.
- Vladimir Nabokov

My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression,
crime, cruelty, soft music.
- Vladimir Nabokov

Caress the detail, the divine detail.
- Vladimir Nabokov

The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.
- Vladimir Nabokov

The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells
us that our existence is but a brief crack of light
between two eternities of darkness.
- Vladimir Nabokov

I would like to spare the time and effort of hack reviewers and,
generally, persons who move their lips when reading.
- Vladimir Nabokov

All my stories are webs of style and none seems at
first blush to contain much kinetic matter.
For me style is matter.
- Vladimir Nabokov

Satire is a lesson, parody is a game.
- Vladimir Nabokov

I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author,
and I speak like a child.
- Vladimir Nabokov

There is only one school of literature -
that of talent.
- Vladimir Nabokov

It's a pity one can't imagine what one can't compare to anything.
Genius is an African who dreams up snow.
- Vladimir Nabokov

A writer should have the precision of a poet and the
imagination of a scientist.
- Vladimir Nabokov

To play safe, I prefer to accept only one type of power:
the power of art over trash,
the triumph of magic over the brute.
- Vladimir Nabokov

You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.
- Vladimir Nabokov

Imagination, the supreme delight of the immortal and the immature,
should be limited.
In order to enjoy life, we should not enjoy it too much.
- Vladimir Nabokov

I cannot conceive how anybody in his right mind should go to a psychoanalyst.
- Vladimir Nabokov

A novelist is, like all mortals, more fully at home
on the surface of the present than in the ooze of the past.
- Vladimir Nabokov

Complacency is a state of mind that exists only in retrospective:
it has to be shattered before being ascertained.
- Vladimir Nabokov

Some people, and I am one of them, hate happy ends.
We feel cheated.
Harm is the norm.
- Vladimir Nabokov

There are aphorisms that, like airplanes,
stay up only while they are in motion.
- Vladimir Nabokov

I have often noticed that after I had bestowed on the
characters of my novels some treasured item of my past,
it would pine away in the artificial world where I
had so abruptly placed it.
- Vladimir Nabokov

Happy is the novelist who manages to preserve an actual
love letter that he received when he was young within a work of fiction,
embedded in it like a clean bullet in flabby flesh and quite secure there,
among spurious lives.
- Vladimir Nabokov

It is hard, I submit, to loathe bloodshed,
including war, more than I do, but it is still harder
to exceed my loathing of the very nature of totalitarian
states in which massacre is only an administrative detail.
- Vladimir Nabokov

The first step in the evolution of ethics
is a sense of solidarity with other human beings.
- Albert Schweitzer

In the long history of humankind (and animal-kind, too)
those who learned to collaborate and
improvise most effectively have prevailed.
- Charles Darwin

It is not the strongest of the species that survive,
nor the most intelligent,
but the one most responsive to change.
- Charles Darwin

In the struggle for survival,
the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals
because they succeed in adapting
themselves best to their environment.
- Charles Darwin

I have called this principle,
by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved,
by the term of Natural Selection.
- Charles Darwin

Everything we believe is a matter of evolution and history.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

On the ordinary view of each species
having been independently created,
we gain no scientific explanation.
- Charles Darwin

Man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped,
probably arboreal in its habits.
- Charles Darwin

Breaking up is a natural evolution
when you try to figure out what you want in life.
If you're with an individual
who isn't moving in the same direction
and at the same rate that you are,
it ain't going to work.
- Usher Raymond

There are no shortcuts in evolution.
- Louis D. Brandeis

You have to look at history as an evolution of society.
- Jean Chretien

In fact, death seems to have been a rather late invention in evolution.
One can go a long way in evolution before encountering an authentic corpse.
- George Wald

I think that many of my ideas are correct,
but I'll bet you, before my death other discoveries
will be made that will prompt me to alter various ideas
I have about human evolution.
- Donald Johanson

It's the lie of evolution that all man are just evolved
and that they're all equal,
and that all creatures are equal.
- Tim LaHaye

I believe that history might be, and ought to be,
taught in a new fashion so as to make the meaning of
it as a process of evolution intelligible to the young.
- Thomas Huxley

I was taught that the human brain was the crowning
glory of evolution so far,
but I think it's a very poor scheme for survival.
- Kurt Vonnegut

We know that these clashes with Asia and Jewry are necessary for evolution.
- Heinrich Himmler

The first and most important reason for its elimination
is the unquestioned fact that evolution is not a science;
it is a hypothesis only,
a speculation.
- William B. Riley

We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution.
- Bill Hicks

Tick is a cartoon character, I don't know if you're familiar with him.
This is the third step in his evolution.
Comic book to cartoon to, now, live-action.
- Patrick Warburton

Theology made no provision for evolution.
The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all!
Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?
- E. O. Wilson

If we turn to palaeontology to tell us about our biological
evolution it is to prehistory that we look for evidence
of the evolution of specifically human patterns of behaviour.
- John G. D. Clark

The theory of undirected evolution is already dead,
but the work of science continues.
- Michael Behe

This evolution may compromise Java's claim of being simpler than C++,
but my guess is that the effort will make Java a better
language than it is today.
- Bjarne Stroustrup

Biology is the science.
Evolution is the concept that makes biology unique.
- Jared Diamond

For the first time in history we can track the evolution
of a pandemic in real time.
Influenza viruses are notorious for their rapid mutation
and unpredictable behaviour.
- Margaret Chan

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics,
which is the goal of all evolution.
Until we stop harming all other living beings,
we are still savages.
- Thomas A. Edison


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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