One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Nabokov: Literary Hitchcock

Excerpt from King, Queen, Knave:

The other day as they were having ice chocolate there, Martha counted at least three foreigners among the crowd. One, judging by his newspaper, was a Dane. The other two were a less easily determinable pair: the girl was trying in vain to attract the attention of the café cat, a small black animal sitting on a chair and licking one hind paw rigidly raised like a shouldered club. Her companion, a suntanned fellow, smoked and smiled. What language were they speaking? Polish? Esthonian? Leaning near them against the wall was some kind of net: a bag of pale-bluish gauze on a ring fixed to a rod of light metal.
     "Shrimp catchers," said Martha. "I want shrimps for dinner tonight." (She clicked her front teeth."
     "No," said Franz. "That's not a fisherman's net. That's for catching mosquitoes."
     "Butterflies," said Dreyer, lifting an index finger.
     "Who wants to catch butterflies?" remarked Martha.
     "Oh, it must be good sport," said Dreyer. "In fact, I think to have a passion for something is the greatest happiness on earth." 
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