Vintage Nabokov

Tak­en from a French tele­vi­sion pro­gram, this vin­tage clip fea­tures Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977) read­ing from Loli­ta and reveal­ing his list of the most impor­tant nov­els of the 20th cen­tu­ry, among oth­er things. Nabokov speaks in Eng­lish here. So don’t let the ini­tial French throw you off. We’ve added this gem to our YouTube playlist.

Loli­ta, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. 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.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.