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15 Apr 2011

The Tenderest Bits.

Written by sally @ 9:25 am — Section: Uncategorized

A Literary Dinner

Come here, said my hostess, her face making room
for once of those pink introductory smiles
that link, like a valley of fruit trees in bloom,
the slopes of two names.
I want you, she murmured, to eat Dr. James.

I was hungry. The Doctor looked good. He had read
the great book of the week and had liked it, he said,
because it was powerful. So I was brought
a generous helping. His mauve-bosomed wife
kept showing me, very politely, I thought,
the tenderest bits with the point of her knife.
I ate — and in Egypt the sunsets were swell;
The Russians were doing remarkably well;
Had I met a Prince Poprinsky, whom he had known
in Caparabella, or was in Mentone?
They had travelled extensively, he and his wife;
her hobby was People, his hobby was Life.
All was good and well cooked, but the tastiest part
was his nut-flavored, crisp cerebellum. The heart
resembled a shiny brown date,
and I stowed all the studs on the edge of my plate.

–Vladimir Nabokov

(from Nabokov’s Congeries, Viking, 1968, p. 517)

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