NABOKV-L post 0018666, Thu, 15 Oct 2009 01:23:20 -0700

Re: [ NABOKOV-L] [SIGHTING] favorite characters and novels
Speaking of Lolita and Allen. Long before his controversy, in his film Manhattan, in which Allen is beguiled by an eighteen year old Mariel Hemmingway (a ways off from Dolores). In a scene where he and his girl and Diane Keaton and her married boyfriend walk down a street talking, Keaton's character declares thinks Allen's going out with a teen is Nabokovian; her boyfriend declares him a candidate for most over rated artists of all time. I guess that's a sighting. Watch it here at youtube. The reference comes about 1.55 minutes in I believe.

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>  :


--- On Wed, 10/14/09, jansymello <jansy@AETERN.US> wrote:

From: jansymello <jansy@AETERN.US>
Subject: [NABOKV-L] [ NABOKOV-L] [SIGHTING] favorite characters and novels
Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 12:51 PM

I don't know if this will interest the List...
Here it goes:
In the
October 2009 issue of the "Revista da Cultura" (distributed by "Cultura's" mega
book-stores) there are two references to Nabokov.
In one of them writers
confess what other author's novel they'd have liked to have written.

"Lolita" was the first one to be mentioned, by  Sérgio Rodrigues. He said:
"Once they asked Woody Allen if there was any
book he'd have liked to have
authored. Allen answered: "Like everybody else, I'd have liked to have written
the Russian novels...I never even imagined I would write Ulisses or the works by
Saul Bellow, or some other book, except the Russian novels." Next Rodrigues
added that, like Woody Allen, he'd have liked to have written a Russian novel,
only one,  the very contemporary Lolita: "The fact that I chose Lolita is
symptomatic: I would have liked to have written this book exactly because I'd
never be able to achieve anything like it." 
Rodrigues praises Nabokov's genius with language, he ranks him
among Russian authors.

The second reference was by journalist Xico
Sá, who maintains that the ugly movie-stars are on the rise nowadays. For one of
his favorite characters he chose Quilty (played by Peter Sellers in Kubrick's
"Lolita.") for he considers him as ugly as he is irresistible so that it was an
easy task for him to seduce away Humbert's little girl.
I tried to
check Woody Allen's sentence but I only reached items linked to
the critical applause for thes 1975 satire "Love and Death".*

I had to
retranslate the words into English and must have altered them a lot.
Allen once quipped that " I am two with nature," I must recognize that "I am two

- (wiki) The dialogue and scenarios parody Russian novels, particularly those by
Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, such as The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and

Punishment, The Gambler, The Idiot, and War and Peace. The use of Prokofiev
for the soundtrack adds to the Russian flavor of the film. This includes a

dialogue between Boris and his father with each line alluding  to or
being composed entirely of Dostoevsky titles. Prokofiev's "Troika" from the
Lieutenant Kijé Suite is featured prominently, for the film's opening and
closing credits... Some of the humour is straightforward; other jokes rely on
the viewer's awareness of classic literature or contemporary European cinema.
For example, the final shot of Keaton is a reference to Ingmar Bergman's 
Persona, the sequence with the stone lions is a parody of Sergei Eisenstein's
Battleship Potemkin and the plotline involving the Countess, her jealous lover
and his duel-gone-awry with Allen's character is an homage to Bergman's Smiles
of a Summer Night. Bergman's The Seventh Seal is quoted all throughout, and the
Totentanz at the end is lifted entirely.Allen pays tribute to the humor of the
Marx Brothers, Bob Hope and Charlie Chaplin throughout this film. In one
particularly funny portion of the movie, Allen and Diane Keaton parody a scene
taken from Animal Crackers, a Marx Brothers film, which itself was a parody of a
Eugene O'Neill play.

Search the archive
Contact the Editors
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal"

Visit Zembla
View Nabokv-L Policies
Manage subscription options

All private editorial communications, without
exception, are
read by both co-editors.

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors:,
Visit Zembla:
View Nabokv-L policies:
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:"

Manage subscription options: