Monday, February 14, 2011

He seemed to be quite unexpectedly (for human despair seldom leads to great truth) on the verge of a simple solution to the universe but was interrupted by an urgent request.  A squirrel under a tree had seen Pnin on the path.  In one sinuous tendril-like movement, the intelligent animal climbed up to the brim of a drinking fountain and, as Pnin approached, thrust its oval face toward him with a rather coarse spluttering sound, its cheeks puffed out.  Pnin understood and after some fumbling he found what had to be pressed for the necessary results…

The water father continued upon his way, came to the end of the path, then turned into a side street where there was a small bar of log-cabin design with garnet glass in its casement windows.

-Vladimir Nabokov, from Pnin