Saturday, 13 December 2008


Artemis, who loved to hunt in the silent woods, in the mountain’s-shadow: today she would ski. Off piste, of course. Today she would wear earrings (artem, ‘to dangle’, ‘earring’).

From Nabokov's story ‘Wingbeat’: ‘With a glint of her skis Isabel disappeared behind the bend of a snowbank, and when Kern, ashamed, of his awkward movements, overtook her in a soft hollow amid silver-frosted boughs, she wiggled her fingers in the air, stamped her skis and was off again. Kern stood for a time among the violet shadows, and suddenly felt a whiff of the familiar terror of silence. The lacework branches in the enamel-like air had the chill of a terrifying fairy tale.’

Fairy tales delight her; their chill, their ingenuity, the way they are always burgeoning with swift violence.

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