From “Look At the Harlequins!”, Vladimir Nabokov

This is the last sleep reblog for now. Look At The Harlequins! has subtle autobiographical play (but it would be a mistake to see the narrator as a stand-in Nabokov) – I am unsure whether this sleep phenomenon is something Nabokov himself experienced.

Séamus Sweeney

“At its worst it went like this: An hour or so after falling asleep (generally well after midnight and with the humble assistance of a little Old Mead or Chartreuse) I would wake up (or rather ‘wake in’) momentarily mad. The hideous pang in my brain was triggered by some hint of faint light in the line of my sight, for no matter how carefully I might have topped the well-meaning efforts of a servant by my own struggles with blinds and purblinds, there always remained some damned slit, some atom or dimmet of artificial streetlight or natural moonlight that signaled inexpressible peril when I raised my head with a gasp above the level of a choking dream. Along the dim slit brighter points traveled with dreadful meaningful intervals between them. These dots corresponded, perhaps, to my rapid heartbeats or were connected optically with the blinking of wet eyelashes but…

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