NABOKV-L post 0018451, Tue, 14 Jul 2009 11:14:00 -0300

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Re: NEWS sightings from S.P.Klein
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Sandy Klein sent links to Playboy - Nabokov - Laura
www.complete-review.com - In The New York Observer Leon Neyfakh reports that: Hugh Hefner's Playboy has acquired the first serial rights to The Original of Laura , the final, unfinished novella of the late Vladmir Nabokov. ...Playboy Snags First Serial Rights to Vladmir Nabokov Novel www.mediabistro.com aso

JM: Thanks, Sandy. It's important for me to keep up with what goes on in Nabokov universes and you are a thorough provider of latest events and talks about town. I'll certainly grab the coming issues of Playboy to keep together with the "scholarly edition".
I'm amused at the realization that my grandkids' first acquaintance with Nabokov's writings, about whom they often catch snatches of references while in my company, shall be "Laura", through Playboy, since this magazine will motivate them enough to go beyond listening to Grandma.

J.Aisenberg: I'm not sure that Ray has any literary qualifications to judge the book as art, but he does so anyway: [...]. John Ray thinks of it as "a case history", to use his words, which will become "a classic in psychiatric circles."...Certainly Ray confuses his terms. He sees Lolita as a novel, a case study, and a fable about modern mores that didactly tends "unswervinglyly to nothing less than a moral apotheosis." ...But if you keep him (Ray)in focus as a comic device that funs the mindset behind Truman Capote's concept of "True Fiction" and smuggles narrative exposition into a parody of the very need for more knowledge about people who never existed, then Ray makes a good deal of sense.[...] Nabokov tries to have Lolita work everywhich way at once, and succeeds brilliantly.

JM: You made your points quite convincingly to show how Ray sees himself as a brilliant and competent editor, psychiatrist and whatever one may think up to add. Also by situating him as a "comic device" or a Nabokovian tease
( the name Windmuller could carry a quixotesque hint, but it seems to fit closer to a kind of "wind-chaser" ?)*. Actually, what is truth - outside our realm of wordy fiction? We may suffer lapses of sloppiness -- in the line of A.Stadlen's arguments [I must say I long ago noticed the point about "My Cue" being supposedly real and "Quilty" being supposedly peudonymous. I am afraid I did wonder whether this was just VN being a bit sloppy. When one takes into account Brian Boyd's argument that VN simply made a mistake about the famous 56 days, might this not be the case here too?] -- or become inconsistent and break the spell -- in novel or in life.
I agree with Don's, and Appel's appraisal, though, that the overall impression, after reading and re-reading "Lolita,"is that in one of the worlds inside other worlds there is an author, who is laughing at us. In this case, even what appears as "sloppiness" must be considered as part of a tease ( even if not deliberately constructed as such by the author).

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* But not just Ray as the tease or the comic device.
For example, when H.H writes: "I remember thinking that this idea of children-colors had been lifted by authors Clare Quilty and Vivian Darkbloom from a passage in James Joyce, and that two of the colors were quite exasperatingly lovely - Orange who kept fidgeting all the time, and Emerald," he might have been alluding to the kind of games that repeatedly present a disguised word to be discovered in the conversation.
Perhaps he is also warning the reader about his use of similar tactics in his confessions, by hiding them in anagrams, puns and allusions ( just like this one he made to Joyce's "Angels and Devils"), to engage us in a paper-chase, like his own after Quilty and Lo. Nevertheless in this particular novel our task has no definite aim, unlike HH's. Perhaps he is merely inducing us into sharing his chase. And yet, here, by working over these investigations we may become moralistic omnipotent generalizing figures, like Ray, or as new Windmullers, trying to snare the wind.

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