NABOKV-L post 0017457, Sat, 13 Dec 2008 16:29:23 -0500

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Re: Fw: [NABOKOV-L] Third Man and Pushkin's Requiem
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I stand corrected: I forgot that Greene wrote the screenplay before the book. It seems the kind of movie that VN, who enjoyed the movies, would have liked. Of course Pale Fire was written at the same time as Lolita, and so it doesn't seem likely that the reference was made as a kind of nod toward Greene because of Greene's "discovery" of Lolita. I had once asked Dimitri in this forum about his father's thoughts about Greene's books. Regretably no reply. They had dinner together once(Greene and VN, that is). As they say, i wish I could have been a fly on the wall.


Date: Sat, 13 Dec 2008 10:25:40 -0800From: vanveen13@SBCGLOBAL.NETSubject: Re: [NABOKV-L] Fw: [NABOKOV-L] Third Man and Pushkin's RequiemTo: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU



To Assa I say, I also thought of Greene's The Third Man, which would make sense since it was partly due to Greene that Lolita became such a scandalous hit. I just want to add one interesting bit of trivia. The movie wasn't made from the story; actually Carol Reed, the director whom Greene had worked with before, commissioned Greene to write a script and the story was Greene's treatment for the movie, because he said he needed to have a whole narrative commplete in his head for some reason before creating a trim screenplay. To Jansy, while I think you're right that Eliot is unquestionably all over Pale Fire, as well as at the end of Lolita, it seems hard to deny from letters and interviews that N. had anything but contempt for the man and his work (possibly due the charges that Eliot was an anti-semite), and like Freud, seems to have used the Eliot's work as a kind of ballast for his parodic aesthetic polemical approach to literature, and as a foil for what he deemed "genuine". On the pronunciation of Lolita--a Spanish speaking friend of mine insists a Spanish speaker would always say her name using a long o ("Oh" and not "Ah) because it doesn't have the short form. Nabokov, I recall, mentioned Spanish in interviews; in the quote below he says "Iberized"--so is N.'s way of pronouncing it really Portugese?
From: jansymello <jansy@AETERN.US>Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] Fw: [NABOKOV-L] Third Man and Pushkin's RequiemTo: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDUDate: Friday, December 12, 2008, 7:04 PM




Frances Assa [to JM] I beg to differ. Why bring in Eliot at all? And if you're looking for contemporary sources, the phrase The Third Man more likely came from Graham Greene's book and the movie made from it. VN did not much appreciate Eliot...
JM: Data massima venia but Eliot's presence in Pale Fire is far from spectral, even though VN was often critical of T.S.E.( I don't think he dismissed him as easily as it might seem to you ).

Alexey (a retake): ...The leaving out of the "t" in the second (or rather third, if we count the particule in the middle) component of her nom de plume should make it more intime (1.31). In the old Russian alphabet, the letter "t" was called tvyordo ("hard," used as an adverb in the sense "firmly," "solidly," etc.).
JM: It is interesting to contrast this "hard", "solid" "t" in ADA ( where it is used for Ida's sentimental novels and poor lyrical connections), with the one in Lolita ( as an expression of genuine "lyricism"). I look forward to your sonorous developments in the same way in which I visually enjoied VN's colored alphabet...
VN advises in SO (p.53): "my nymphet's grace and of the soft, melting American landscape slip very delicately into lyrical Russian.[...] Note that for the necessary effect of dreamy tenderness both "l"s and the "t" and indeed the whole word should be iberized and not pronounced the American way with crushed "l"s, a coarse "t" and a long "o".

( also p.25) a diminutive with a lyrical lilt to it. One of the most limpid and luminous letters is the "L". The suffix "-ita" has a lot of Latin tenderness, and this I required too. Hence: Lolita....














Related Quotes from

Lolita:

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

SO: "Lah-lee-ta, svet moey zh izni, ogon' moih chrsel. Greh moy, dusha moya."

ADA:

A pale diaphanous butterfly with a very black body followed them [...] closely related to a Japanese Parnassian. Mlle Larivière said suddenly she would use a pseudonym when publishing the story.[...]her gorgeous pseudonym ‘Guillaume de Monparnasse’ (the leaving out of the ‘t’ made it more intime) was well-known from Quebec to Kaluga .






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