February 16, 2006

Smarty-Pants

Somebody yelled at me last week for quoting Vladimir Nabokov. I think they thought that I was quoting Nabokov because too many people quote Nabokov and seceretly mean, "I'm quoting Nabakov because I want you to see that I'm a smarty-pants."

But what if I was quoting Nabakov in a way that meant "I read this Nabakov quote last night this made me laugh, and incidentally, I had forgotten that he could make me laugh because too many people taught me that too many people quote Nabakov and secretly mean 'I'm quoting Nabakov because I want to show I'm a smarty-pants.'"

Anyway, I haven't written anything in here for a couple days and I don't have any excuses, but goddamit, Nabakov managed to cram all my favorite things (malapropisms, stories wrapped in stories, purple language abuses, and crazy narrators) into a single toss-off paragraph in Pale Fire and it made me so happy...

"I salute here brave Bretwit! Let there appear for a moment his hand and mine firmly clasping each other across the water over the golden wake of an emblematic sun. Let no insurance foirm or airline use this insigne on the glossy page of a magazine as an ad badge under the picture of a retired businessman stupefied and honered by the site of the technicolored snack that the air hostess offers hime with everything else she can give; rather, let this lofty handshake be regareded in our cynical age of frenzied heterosexualism as a last, but lasting, symbol of valor and self -abnegation."

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