The day, like the previous days, dragged sluggishly by in a kind of insipid idleness, devoid even of that dreamy expectancy which can make idleness so enchanting.
Don’t touch me; I’ll die if you touch me.
And now, said Ada, Van is going to stop being vulgar-I
mean, stop forever! Because I had and have and shall always
have only one beau, only one beast, only one sorrow, only one joy.
Life is just one small piece of light between two eternal darknesses.
Somehow, too, I remembered Chichikov’s round of weird visits in Gogol’s “Dead Souls.
But one shelf was a little neater than the rest and here I noted the following sequence which for a moment seemed to form a vague musical phrase, oddly familiar: Hamlet, La morte d’Arthur, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, South Wind, The Lady with the Dog, Madame Bovary, The Invisible Man, Le Temps Retrouvé, Anglo-Persian Dictionary, The Author of Trixie, Alice in Wonderland, Ulysses, About Buying a Horse, King Lear … The melody gave a small gasp and faded.
I love being bossed by you, but every game has its rules.
Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.
We are still groping perhaps, but we grope intelligently, like a gynecologist feeling a tumor.
A wonderful point in favor of some kind of hereafter is this: When the mind rejects as childishly absurd a paradise with musical angels or abstract colonnades with Horace and Milton in togas conversing and walking together through the eternal twilight, or the protracted voluptas of the orient or any other eternity — such as the one with devils and porcupines — we forget that if we could have imagined life before living it would have seemed more improbable than all our hereafters