The Return of Chorb
by Vladimir Nabokov
The Return of Chorb The Supernatural Quotes
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…and something which one might be inclined to regard as a kind of fatidic prefiguration: the radial span of a spider’s web between two telegraph wires that were beaded with droplets of mist (9).
Incidents like this set the tone for "The Return of Chorb" and tell us to look out for these sorts of details. Compare this image, for example, to the "ping" of the moth against the lamp later in the story.
Thus Chorb traveled back to the very source of his recollections, an agonizing and yet blissful test now drawing to a close. All there remained was but a single night to be spent in that first chamber of their marriage, and by tomorrow the test would be passed and her image made perfect (19).
Chorb is responsible for imbuing the night’s occurrences with an eerie sense of the supernatural. He chooses to do so as a way of coping with his wife’s death.
But as he trudged back to the hotel, up the boulevard, where on all the benches in the blue darkness sat hazy figures, Chorb suddenly understood that, despite exhaustion, he would not be able to sleep alone in that room with its naked bulb and whispery crannies (20).
Again, what Chorb is really feeling is grief and pain over his wife’s death – but he chooses to interpret it as fear of the supernatural.