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willed into being

Discussion in 'English Only' started by az09, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. az09 Senior Member

    russian
    Please clarify for me the meaning of phrase "willed into being" in this sentence:

    Not daring, not daring let myself go—not even daring let myself realize that this (sweet wetness and trembling fire) was the beginning of the ineffable life which, ably assisted by fate, I had finally willed into being—not daring really kiss her, I touched her hot, opening lips with the utmost piety, tiny sips, nothing salacious;

    It's from Chapter 27, Lolita, Nabokov.

    Thank you.
     
  2. perpend Senior Member

    American English
    wished for to be something = wished into being = willed into being

    Your wish for something came true.
     
  3. az09 Senior Member

    russian
    Thank you. So that's mean the person wish for the (ineffable) life that finally came true?
     
  4. perpend Senior Member

    American English
    The person has wished/willed for someone to become "real".

    Maybe someone else can help further, az. Take care
     
  5. b3n5p34km4n Junior Member

    American English
    I haven't read that book, so I don't know how hard the person actually worked to achieve the ineffable life, but I think "willed" is a bit stronger than "wished". "To wish" seems more passive to me, and I think "to will" implies that this person had a deep, burning desire for quite some time. "To will" implies some action being taken by the subject, whereas "to wish" has the subject letting fate decide what happens.
     
  6. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    Stoke on Trent
    England and English
    There is quite a difference for me between coming true (your gloss) and came into being (Nabokov's words).

    He is talking about the start of something, the thing that he has wanted (maybe even "coming true" in the sense of a dream coming true) but the focus is on the fact of it starting. He has worked in some way (willed it) to make it happen (bring into being).

    It is about realisation, in the second and third meanings of the word in our dictionary.
     
  7. az09 Senior Member

    russian
    Lolita is quite hard for me to understand. "You can always count on Nabokov for a fancy prose style."
     
  8. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    Stoke on Trent
    England and English
    Are you obliged to read it? There is no shortage of alternative literature out there!
     
  9. az09 Senior Member

    russian
    I have to read it, because I love Nabokov. With your help, I think I can get deep inside his mind. Thank all of you!
     

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