I hate hearing myself speaking English. My voice sounds inhuman... mechanical. In the strain of translating a Chinese word into its English equivalent, the spontaneity and natural quality of my speech are lost. I feel that I'm falling out of the tightly knit fabric of emotional vocabulary into a hole-filled net of linguistic signifiers.
not a word passes over
Editor's Note: Vladimir Nabokov's novel Pnin is about a Russian-born professor living in the United States whose life is full of various tragicomic mishaps and difficulties adjusting to American life and language.