“All my life I have been a poor go-to-sleeper.
No matter how great my weariness,
the wrench of parting with consciousness
is unspeakably repulsive to me.
I loathe Somnus, that black-masked headsman binding me to the block;
and if in the course of years I have got so used to my nightly ordeal
as almost to swagger while the familiar axe
is coming out of its great velvet-lined case,
initially I had no such comfort or defense.”
-- Vladimir Nabokov
|Self portrait 5-20-13|
Somnus is the Latin name for the Greek god Hypnos,
a son of the goddess Nyx (night)
and the personification of sleep.
His palace was a dark cave where the sun never shined.
His dwelling place had neither door nor gate
lest he be awakened by the creaking of hinges.