Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pnin’s pencil sharpener

With the help of the janitor he screwed onto the side of the desk a pencil sharpener — that highly satisfying, highly philosophical implement that goes ticonderoga-ticonderoga, feeding on the yellow finish and sweet wood, and ends up in a kind of soundlessly spinning ethereal void as we all must. He had other, even more ambitious plans, such as an armchair and a tall lamp.

Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin (1957)
The pencil sharpener is part of Timofey Pnin’s effort to “Pninize” his office, “Office R.” As this tribute to the Dixon Ticonderoga suggests, Nabokov was a pencil man. And yes, I have a touch of Nabokov fever. The Original of Laura drops, as they say, on November 17.

Related posts
Is there a pencil in The House? (Dixon Ticonderogas in film)
Musical-comedy pencils (more Dixon Ticonderogas)
Pnin’s posy
Vladimir Nabokov’s index cards

comments: 0