Author’s Prayer If I speak for the dead, I must leave this animal of my body, I must write the same poem over and over for the empty page is a white flag of their surrender. If I speak of them, I must walk on the edge of myself, I must live as a blind… Continue reading Ilya Kaminsky
And meanwhile, outside the door, waits my faithful, my lonely night… — Vladimir Nabokov, from “A Letter that Never Reached Russia,” The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov (Alfred A. Knopf, 1995)
I’ve always loved you, and when you love someone, you love the whole person, just as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be. — Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina. (Norilana Books February 16, 2008) Originally published 1873.
You came into my life — not as one comes to visit … but as one comes to a kingdom where all the rivers have been waiting for your reflection, all the roads, for your steps. — Vladimir Nabokov, Letters to Véra, ed. and transl. Olga Voronina and Brian Boyd (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014)
–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)
Regarding myself as a mere echo, Cave-like, unintelligible and nocturnal… — Anna Akhmatova, from “Festive Song,” The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova (Zephyr Press, 1990)
Why is it that when you awake to the world of realities you nearly always feel, sometimes very vividly, that the vanished dream has carried with it some enigma which you have failed to solve? — Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot. (Modern Library; New edition edition, April 8, 2003) Originally published 1869,