She was sure that her existence was influenced by all sorts of dead friends each of whom took turns in directing her fate much as if she were a stray kitten which a schoolgirl in passing gathers up, and presses to her cheek, and carefully puts down again, near some suburban hedge– to be stroked presently by another transient hand or carried off to a world of doors by some hospitable lady.

V. Nabokov, “The Vane Sisters,” February 1951

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