On the book: Letters to Véra by Vladimir Nabokov
My sun, my soul, my song, my bird, my sweetheart, my pink sky, my sunny rainbow, my little music, my inexpressible delight, my softness, my tenderness, my lightness, my dear life, my dear eyes. . . .These endearments (backed up by a crowded menagerie of surrogates: Goosikins, Poochums, Tigercubkin, Puppykin) were once outlined by Martin Amis from The New York Times also. They give us a peek into Vladimir’s red apple ample adoration for his wife Véra. If their being away from each other did any good, it was probably his making her melt in sent over written love for her, for his words and his curated puzzles.
He breathed her in everything he lived by, ever since he saw her. He wrote and he wrote to her too – in a rather intense attempt to make the times of separation and togetherness seamless by binding his days away (from her) in so many words to intricately web out his entire routine, from the temperature of the food served to how it felt on his palate on a particular day. She would get to know whether it was raining outside when he was eating potatoes or if he was sacrificing a sunny day to write a puzzle to engage her, to make her struggle a little to decode his mind and to understand her own. It almost seems like whatever he thought of, he could could not additionally bear the though of not telling her, the delay in his thoughts reaching her owing to the medium was not his concern, as long as the thoughts reached her as carefully as they were crafted in his mind. For him, love was also about not letting any thought go astray, there was no priority ranking in this thought telling on paper, the purring of the cat outside was as important as her eyebrows and lips and knees and all else that he longed to be with.
“Kisses, my love, from your eyebrows down to your knees and back.”
Véra was a woman of few words, and in almost every letter, Vladimir complains about that; yet more over than overwhelmingly compensates for her lack of expression in enveloped words. I dreamt of you last night, as if I was playing the piano and you were turning the pages for me…” The metaphorical expression of his keen and kind love for her kindles a swift stroke of the intensely synced love that was. “My darling, today I love you so sweetly, so joyully – you don’t know how…”
His caressing words to her, steeped in love so deep also presented the many ways of saying how much he loved her, why, and in what manner and what breath.