A repost - Felt VERY much needed!
2006-02-11 22:53:51 ET

(Also, I think it's one of the most beautiful openings to a book, ever!)

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. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita."

[Continuation of the quote, just because I love it so much]

"Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style"

Now for the rant. If you examine the opening of that wonderful book by Vladimir Nabokov, you can't help but to be struck by the sheer simple beauty and elegance of it.

This is what disturbs me so much: English wasn't his first language, nor even his second!

Most people, born, raised and educated in this country don't even have a quarter of the mastery of the language that Nabokov did. Isn't there something just the slightest bit wrong with that picture?

2006-02-12 13:19:02 ET

I don't think so. Some people are born with natural talent, some are born with natural genius, and some are just born dumb. That's not an insult, it just...is.

2006-02-13 16:05:18 ET

...but untill recently, if you were literate, you have SOME mastery of the language!!! These days, people don't even know propper syntax, let alone subtle things like grammar. christ. just look at how most people type, speak, write, etc....

2006-02-13 19:16:59 ET

Crap, don't get me started on chat speak. It is the DEVIL. ~_~

The only reason I've ever had a decent grasp on grammar is because I'm a sponge. I soak up what I'm exposed to, and I used to inhale books, thusly assembling a mass of good writing habits and skills. I don't read so much anymore, but at least I still have a DECENT grasp of the language.

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