“As a master of the eccentric metaphor, the great Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov used food to fine effect in his writing,” says writer Nina Martyris.
There was, for instance, that one word he used to capture the texture, tinge and luster of his watery green eyes — “oysterous.” And that icky image in Lolita, of motel floors burnished with the “golden-brown glaze of fried-chicken bones,” that somehow made those shiny floors complicit in the squalor of pedophilia.
But when it came to eating, he really couldn’t be bothered.
Nabokov’s paradoxical relationship with food — his sumptuous use of it as a writer and his serene indifference to it as an eater — is vividly apparent in the recently published Letters to Véra, a collection of the missives he wrote to his beloved wife over 50-odd years.
Because personally I really like the idea of
Nicodemus Archleone, millennium old leader of the Order of Blackened Denarius and host of a fallen angel strolling into a doughnut shop, looking at the display and telling the cashier.
“I need two dozen doughnuts. Are those apple fritters? Some of those and a few of those with sprinkles as well. Plus an assortment of the jelly filled.”