Once upon a time there lived in Berlin, Germany, a man called Albinus. He was rich, respectable, happy; one day he abandoned his wife for the sake of a youthful mistress; he loved; was not loved; and his life ended in disaster.
…first sentence from Nabokov‘s Laughter In The Dark.
I loathe Vladimir Nabokov. He was like a very good carpenter, one whose life’s work was a marvelously articulated outhouse, built with a ruler and penknife. So too I can’t trust anyone who claims to enjoy Lolita (ooh, look at you, smarty pants). This opening sentence, however, cracks me the heck up. Until I notice those semicolons, at least. Then I want to burn his books all over again. Sheesh.