Spring in Fialta
by Vladimir Nabokov
Analysis: Steaminess Rating
Exactly how steamy is this story?
This story treats the theme of agonizing love and infidelity in incredibly close depth, but without the graphics. We don’t see the sex in "Spring in Fialta," but we know it’s happening. Check out the "sex" scene after Nina brings Victor back to her hotel room:
"…because of our sudden draught a wave of muslin embroidered with white dahlias got sucked in, with a shudder and knock, between the responsive halves of the French window, and only when the door had been locked did they let go that curtain with something like a blissful sigh; and a little later I stepped out on the diminutive cast-iron balcony."
Yes, that was sex. And what an incredibly skillfully way to tell us, too. You’ve got the "sudden draught," the initial "shudder," a door being locked, and a final "blissful sigh." It’s like verbal charades.