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.