The Easy Chair

with Laura Hurwitz

Episode 194: Signs and Symbols (by Vladimir Nabokov)

Today on the podcast, it’s a fabulous short story by one of my favorite authors, Vladimir Nabokov. In “Symbols and Signs” an elderly couple visit their adult son, who they have committed to a psychiatric hospital, on his birthday. The son’s psychosis, “referential mania” has him convinced the universe is filled with symbols and signs. Everything around him is a veiled reference to his personality and existence. His parents know this is crazy. But on this day, signs and symbols indicate otherwise. This story will get you thinking about the power of love- and the razor-thin flashpoint between sanity and insanity.

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