Mary, p. 1: words tripping (off) (up) the tongue

October 16, 2009

First line of the novel:  “‘Lev Glevo.  Lev Glebovich?  A name like that’s enough to twist your tongue off, dear fellow.'”  First lines of Lolita: 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.”  One of many eerie premonitions in N’s early work revealing his fascination with naming, sound, speech, and the incarnate word on the tip of the tongue.


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