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Vladimir Nabokov Transparent things 1 Here's the person I want. Hullo, person! Doesn't hear me. Perhaps if the future existed, concretely and individually, as something that could be discerned by a better brain, the past would not be so seductive: its demands would be balanced by those of the future. Persons might then straddle the middle stretch of the seesaw when considering this or that object. It might be fun. But the future has no such reality (as the pictured past and the perceived present possess); the future is but a figure of speech, a specter of thought. Hullo, person! What's the matter, don't pull me. I'm not bothering him. Oh, all right. Hullo, person . . . (last time, in a very small voice). When we concentrate on a material object, whatever its situation, the very act of attention may lead to our involuntarily sinking into the history of that object. Novices must learn to skim over matter if they want matter to stay at the exact level of the moment....