NABOKV-L post 0017554, Mon, 5 Jan 2009 10:28:46 -0200

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SKB: Look for LEWIS CARROLL IN NUMBERLAND, Robin Wilson, W W Norton, 2008. Enough wordplay, perhaps, for non-mathematicians [...}VN was teasing when he said Carroll was an H-H prototype. Carroll certainly loved photographing naked nymphets but NO HANKY-PANKY.

JM: Why would VN be merely teasing when he saw in Carroll an HH prototype, considering their shared pedophilic voyeurism?
In "The Enchanter", as in the initial stages in "Lolita", both narrators insistently consider possible harms being inflicted on young girls by using them as objects for their fantasies, with no intended "hanky-panky." HH may have only dreamed his Commedia with Lo - who knows?

SKB: IS there clear evidence that Nabokov mangled the name of a London 'Madame' to name Lo's mum?[...] Already, the so-called association of Charlotte Haze with one particular Charlotte Hayes from many hundreds so-named is triggering fanciful and contradictory speculation. And rational debate is hindered by the known fact that not every character named by Nabokov provides a proven, significant, positive 'allusion.' Goodman in TSLSK is quite nasty, allowing us to argue that "VN is playing the irony card." Likewise, the characters of the two Charlottes are so disparate that one can be tempted to say: "Precisely! How Nabokovian!" Or, like FA, you can "shift the blame" by one authorial level...

JM: I consider a play with both names, C.Hayes and C.Haze, childish and cruel. The use of "harlot", present in "Charlotte", might have triggered some kind of vague authorial irony. In my opinion this relationship would still be a tasteless joke - should it not have been simply accidental - for it is probable that VN had been cognizant of literature related to "coxcombe" matters, as indicated by M.Couturier.
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Borges, like VN, expressed very positive opinions concerning JJ's "Ulysses", but he was very critical of the "Wake".
"FW is a concatenation of puns committed in a dreamlike English that is difficult not to categoriza as frustrated and incompetent" (he discusses German "Ameise" in JJ's "ameising" and star+banister in "banistar")..."Jules Laforgue and Lewis Carroll have played this game with better luck" (1939, Borges:"Book Reviews and Notes", Penguin, edition by E.Weinberger p.195)
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Off-List Nina Kresova informed me that, "entre la novela 'Invitado a una decapitación' y 'El milagro secreto' podría haber un nexo como el de Dostoiévski." She was referring to my recent comparison of VN's "Invitation to a Beheading" to J.L.Borges' "The Secret Miracle". She indicated Dostoevski's final chapters of "The Idiot" (first part), where Prince Myshkov tells Adelaida and Aglaya a story about a convict's sensations and thoughts before his impending execution.

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