Right now I am somewhere in Russia. It is around 1905. I am locked in Vladimir Nabokov’s Speak, Memory and I may not leave for some time. Nabokov has fed me his words and I believe in his world. I am in there to such an extent I feel like part of my ancestry could be his. Today my feet have kicked through the leaves of his family’s estate linking my actual body with his memories from a century earlier.

When I read I become enveloped, empowered, influenced in such a way my mind ceases to leave that book when I stop reading. I walk the streets feeling like I’m still there, in those pages, living someone else’s life. This escapism is far more powerful than Cinema where the director can spoon-feeds me the visuals. In the world of books the visuals are my own; imagery of my own making.

So today I am metaphorically somewhere in Russia photographing a girl from Nabokov’s world. I am she and she is me. Together we will create new photographic images of our memories forged by his words.

“A sense of security, of well-being, of summer warmth pervades my memory. That robust reality makes a ghost of the present. The mirror brims with brightness; a bumblebee has entered the room and bumps against the ceiling. Everything is as it should be, nothing will ever change, nobody will ever die.”

The way is no longer blocked and I can now move forward.


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