Possibly, because he was a a lifelong insomniac and a man of great passion, I love Vladimir Nabokov. I just don’t feel the need to sleep as most people.Its not that I don’t sleep, but I can go for days and nights without sleep and not get adversely affected. People find it strange. Well, cool, I find most people strange for their need to get up,eat, pee/poo,talk,go to work,kiss the spouse/partner etc as a matter of routine :D. That gets me to ‘passion’. I am troubled when I meet people who are not passionate. Not in the romantic manner, where of course the lack of it , is disastrous :D. But I am talking about when there is no desire to give up oneslef to pleasure, so intense, that it doesn’t matter if an apocalypse is about to happen. One is just lost in that pleasure. Nabokov says “My pleasures are the most intense known to man: writing and butterfly hunting,” . His pursuit of butterflies was not merely a pleasure, but a passion that would influence his life and art immensely, both overtly and stylistically. Something like my great passion for books, music and my beloved animals.
When Nabokov died, he had instructed his son Dimitri to burn his un-finished work ‘ The Original of Laura’. The son ignored his father’s wish and the book was published in 2009. I haven’t read the book and I don’t think I will and take Nabokov’s wish seriously. It seems it has references to Nabokov’s ‘Lolita’. And if Nabokov was hesitant , I think, about a possible clouding/compromise of the brilliance of ‘Lolita’, that’s a path I don’t wish to tread! I guess I am a bit of a literary purist or perhaps a literary coward ? You decide, guys 🙂
But yesterday, I came across excerpts from letters written by Nabokov to his wife Vera, between 1923-1977, on the ‘Brain Pickings’ website (http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/12/03/letters-to-vera-vladimir-nabokov/ )
(‘ Letters to Vera’ : Vladimir Nabokov, Edited by Olga Voronina and Brian Boyd )
I haven’t read the book.
I was enraptured by the words Nabokov uses for the great love of his life and with the passion he speaks of her. Here read:
“Yes, I need you, my fairy-tale. Because you are the only person I can talk with about the shade of a cloud, about the song of a thought — and about how, when I went out to work today and looked a tall sunflower in the face, it smiled at me with all of its seeds.”
“I won’t hide it: I’m so unused to being — well, understood, perhaps, — so unused to it, that in the very first minutes of our meeting I thought: this is a joke”
“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”
“Because with you one needs to talk wonderfully, the way we talk with people long gone… in terms of purity and lightness and spiritual precision… You can be bruised by an ugly diminutive — because you are so absolutely resonant — like seawater, my lovely“.
That gets me thinking why do many of us not choose to have such a relationship ? Why do we prefer to stay on in relationships out of fear, restraint or obligation ? Why do husbands & wives or long-time partners do not develop the courage to not deceive themselves ? Why do they continue to live a life of hypocrisy ?
And yes, why do they not write love letters to each other ? 🙂
I will read this book soon, I am so enchanted by it! And the fossil that I am, I still write long letters on scented stationery ( I spray my favorite perfumes on handmade paper actually ) with a fountain pen to my guy. Nabokov could have possibly taken a few tips from me , I sincerely believe 🙂
A song celebrating love letters! They need to come back into our lives!
And I raise my afternoon Earl Grey to Nabokov & Vera, Adi & Me, and you & her/him…all of us who have the courage to love without fear, restraint or obligation….and write letters to each other 🙂