quarta-feira, maio 09, 2007

Proud in the possession of certain tools

«I learned to read English before I could read Russian. My first English friends were four simple souls in my grammar - Ben, Dan, Sam and Ned. There used to be a great deal of fuss about their identities and whereabouts - 'Who is Ben?' 'He is Dan' 'Sam is in bed,' and so on. Although it all remained rather stiff and patchy (the compiler was handicapped by having to employ - for the initial lessons, at least - words of not more than three letters), my imagination somehow managed to obtain the necessary data. Wan-faced, big-limbed, silent, nitwits, proud in the possession of certain tools ('Ben has an axe'), they now drift with a slow-motioned slouch across the remotest backdrop of my memory; and, akin to the mad alphabet of an optician's chart, the grammar-book lettering looms again before me.»

(V. Nabokov, Speak, Memory)

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