Vladimir Nabokov On Writing

nabokov_vladimir-19811203 2_png_300x386_q85 "At a very early stage of the novel’s development I get this urge to collect bits of straw and fluff, and to eat pebbles.  Nobody will ever discover how clearly a bird visualizes, or if it visualizes at all, the future nest and the eggs in it.  When I remember afterwards the force that made me jot down the correct names of things, or the inches and tints of things, even before I actually needed the information, I am inclined to assume that what I call, for want of a better term, inspiration, had been already at work, mutely pointing at this or that, having me accumulate the known materials for an unknown structure.  After the first shock of recognition—a sudden sense of “this is what I’m going to write”—the novel starts to breed by itself; the process goes on solely in the mind, not on paper; and to be aware of the stage it has reached at any given moment, I do not have to be conscious of every exact phrase."

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