'When he was small, when he would fall,
on sand or carpet he would lie
quite flat and still until he knew
what he would do: get up or cry.’
Documentary following writer and broadcaster Stephen Smith on the trail of Vladimir Nabokov, the elusive man behind the controversial novel and 1962 film, Lolita. The journey takes him from the shores of Lake Geneva to Nabokov’s childhood haunts in the Russian countryside south of St Petersburg to the streets of New York City and a road trip through the anonymous world of small-town America. Along the way Smith meets fellow Nabokov admirer Martin Amis and puts in a cheeky visit to Playboy’s literary editor who is publishing an extract of Nabokov’s last work.
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A Production for BBC
"Not knowing how to write, but sensing with my criminal intuition how words are combined, what one must do for a commonplace word to come alive and to share its neighbor’s sheen, heat, shadow, while reflecting itself in its neighbor and renewing the neighboring word in the process, so that the…
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"Lolita" for The Collective Magazine Photo’s by Brian Sassmann:
- “Night is always a giant but this one was especially terrible.”
- “Perhaps if the future existed, concretely and individually, as something that could be discerned by a better brain, the past would not be so seductive: its demands would be balanced by those of the future.”
- “This is, I believe, it: not the crude anguish of physical death but the incomparable pangs of the mysterious mental maneuver needed to pass from one state of being to another. Easy, you know, does it, son.”