Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Ticonderoga Ticonderoga by Vladimir Nabokov

I've noted elsewhere Nabokov's affinity with pencils. I am reading Pnin at the moment and here's the magnificent passage on sharpening (and more):

With the help of the janitor [Pnin] screwed on to 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.

Photo by causalloop


  1. I can almost hear it!

    Thanks for posting this.

  2. I feel the purchase of a vintage pencil sharpener coming on...

  3. I've been thinking of this line since reading it last night in Pnin. I Googled it to share with someone this morning and found your post. I'm glad it struck you enough to post it, too.

  4. Thanks, Mike. Isn't it wonderful?