–and it seemed to him that happiness itself had that smell, the smell of dead leaves. — , from “The Return of Chorb,” The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov (Alfred A. Knopf, 1995) Advertisements
Somewhere, someoneListens for your laugh, swallows it like a drink of cool water, — John Ashbery, from “Ditto, Kiddo,” A Wave (Open Road Media, 2014; first published 1984)
I shall continue to exist. I may assume other disguises, other forms, but I shall try to exist. — Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire: A Poem in Four Cantos (Putnam, 1962)
There’s no lack of void. — Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot. . (Grove Press; 1 edition, May 17, 2011) Originally published 1952. Premiered 5 January 1953 at theThéâtre de Babylone, Paris France.
For I do not exist: there exist but the thousands of mirrors that reflect me. With every acquaintance I make, the population of phantoms resembling me increases. Somewhere they live, somewhere they multiply. I alone do not exist. — Vladimir Nabokov, The Eye (Phaedra, 1965)Originally published 1930.
Not even the human imagination satisfies the endless emptiness of the soul. — Allen Ginsberg, from “Over Kansas,” Collected Poems 1947-1997 (Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2007)
Mind you, sometimes the angels smoke, hiding it with their sleeves, and when the archangel comes, they throw the cigarettes away: that’s when you get shooting stars. —Vladimir Nabokov