“Symbols and Signs” by Vladimir Nabokov

by kattomic

“Symbols and Signs” by Vladimir Nabokov


Story 143/366

As far as I know, this is the first story by Vladimir Nabokov I’ve ever read. I’ve never been that interested in Lolita, and what with one thing and another, he’s one of the writers whose box I’ve never ticked off my mental checklist. And then I read this story, which is just haunting. Originally published in New Yorker Magazine in 1948, it tells the story of an older couple living in New York on the largesse of a successful relative and their despair over their grown son, who has a form of mental illness called “referential mania.”. Nabokov’s prose is spare and economical and evocative. You can read it here.

See you tomorrow!