The Return of Chorb
by Vladimir Nabokov
The Return of Chorb Love Quotes
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It was on that couch that he had slept on his nuptial night. She, on the regular bed, could be heard breathing with the even rhythm of a child. That night he had kissed her once—on the hollow of the throat—that had been all in the way of lovemaking (13).
Just as his interaction with the prostitute is far from sexual, so is Chorb’s interaction with his wife. His comments that her death was in some way "pure" seem to particularly resonate here – there is a purity in her death, yes, but also in Chorb’s love for his wife.
He nodded. Only much later, having glanced at her casually, Chorb noted with indifference that she was pretty enough, though considerably jaded, and that her bobbed hair was blonde (23).
Because Chorb has singled this prostitute out to act as a substitute for his wife, her looks don’t matter. It’s clear that this interaction has nothing to do with sex or even physical attraction at all.