Speak, Memory. Vladimir Nabakov

I confess I do not believe in time. I like to fold my magic carpet, after use, in such a way as to superimpose one part of the pattern upon another. Let visitors trip.” 

No one writes this beautifully. No one. There are writers who are rad (Vonnegut), writers who devastate you (McCarthy, Didion) and writers that make you feel entirely at home (Steinbeck, for me). Name me a writer who can write like Vladimir Nabakov and I will buy you a donut at Cram Dunk, which is saying something because I would have to go out of my way for that now. 

This book is a collection of previously published essays about Nabakov’s early and middle life, before he came to America. He was a child of extraordinary privilege who sought solace with butterflies. I will re-read this because I do not understand how he writes. Everything – every word, every mark – is an exact choice. He must have spent his whole life editing. Yes, I will come back – but, as Kelin said – not this month.

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