Saturday, April 25, 2009


If You Ruled the World...

Vladimir Nabokov, interview with James Mossman (BBC, October 4, 1969), quoted in Kurt Johnson and Steve Coates, Nabokov's Blues: The Scientific Odyssey of a Literary Genius (Cambridge: Zoland Books, 1999), p. 243:
If you ruled any modern industrial state absolutely, what would you abolish?

I would abolish trucks and transistors, I would outlaw the diabolical roar of motorcycles, I would wring the neck of soft music in public places. I would banish the bidet from hotel bathrooms so as to make more room for a longer bathtub. I would forbid farmers the use of insecticides and allow them to mow their meadows only once a year, in late August when everyone has safely pupated.

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