NABOKV-L post 0015538, Tue, 2 Oct 2007 19:08:01 -0700

Subject
VN SIGHTING: Humbert Humbert a gentleman?
Date
Body
From the Hemingway listserv ... scroll down to the bottom and work your way up. No doubt there will be further commentary on this on the Hemingway listserv which I can forward along if people are interested.
**********************************************

Even though this is the Hemingway listserv...

I think that it is too easy for a reader to dismiss a gentlemanly HH
due
to the actions he commits. It is a testament to the beauty of Nabokov's
writing (I think) that the reader is forced to confront the degenerate
that is HH. I don't think he is a snake charmer -- rather, a
troublesome
pedophilic gentleman.

Some other good gentlemen that haven't been brought up yet:

Jay Gatsby in his love of Daisy Buchanan (Mr. Lamm's argument prompted
me
to this example) also fits: he is attempting to steal Tom's wife,
obviously. Also, Willy Loman (if one perceives his suicide as an act
that
translates to a hell sentence) is a wonderful example throughout the
entirety of /Death of a Salesman/.

I'm not sure how I feel about Macomber to name him a gentleman to the
same
degree of Gatsby/Loman (especially Loman). Macomber's cowardly actions
set
him completely at odds with the "bravery" of Loman, but he may be on
par
with Gatsby.

My next question to the listserv would have to be define a gentleman
for
the sake of this discussion.

As an aside, it did come from Bennett, so it does come with a hefty
helping of bullshit.

Cheers,
Chris Lancaster
University of South Florida

>
>
> I can see some legitimacy in that. Oliver Mellors was a gentleman in
his
> private hell as the quiet lover of Clifford Chatterley's wife. van
Gogh
> suffered a lifetime of hells and maintained his passion as an artist
and
> was the benefactor to several troubled souls in spite of his own
utter
> poverty and illness. Humbert Humbert was, conversely, never was a
> gentleman although he was a snake charmer with his accent and his
elegant
> manners. But certainly, with the repeated humiliations that Francis
> Macomber suffered in his last few days, he maintained the qualities
of a
> gentleman to the benefit of his wife, the wretch, and his guide.
>
> Clint Lamm
>> Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2007 18:25:48 -0700> From: labarnes3@yahoo.com>
>> Subject: William Bennet's comment> To: heming-l@mtu.edu> > Dear
>> Listers,> > I heard William Bennets speak on Book TV. He said that>
his
>> grandmother reminded him that > > A GENTLEMAN IS ALWAYS A GENTLEMAN
EVEN
>> IN HELL.> > What is your opinion? Does this line have validity or>
is it
>> BS?> > LAB> > > >
>>
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