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Spring in Fialta

Spring in Fialta


by Vladimir Nabokov

Trains and Train Stations

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

In a story about transience, train stations are going to be important. There isn’t much to add to Victor’s comments, which pretty much speak for themselves. Victor first introduces Nina to his wife "in a big railway station where everything is something trembling on the brink of something else, thus to be clutched and cherished." This is Nina in a nutshell, a woman who "had always either just arrived or was about to leave." In his mind, the quintessential Nina image is of her "leaning upon a counter at Cook's, left calf crossing right shin, left toe tapping floor, sharp elbows and coin-spilling bag on the counter, while the employee, pencil in hand, pondered with her over the plan of an eternal sleeping car." So it’s fitting that Victor reads about her death while standing "on the station platform of Mlech," and that Nina died while she was traveling.

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