NABOKV-L post 0015776, Wed, 5 Dec 2007 15:12:36 -0500

THOUGHTS: VN's influence on Pessl's "Special Topics in Calamity
Dear All -

just something concerning Nabokov influence:

Recently I've been reading certain bestselling Marisha Pessl
"Special topics in calamity physics", I think it is an amusing book;
its first part may be seen as a complementary to "Lolita" (the author
was openly influenced by VN, but it is not the point).
There is a "configuration"
similar to Humbert-Lolita, but without their love-affair
as central theme. That is, the girl named "Blue" by her mother(after
certain butterfly) is travelling all over America with her
father (instead of Humbert). The mother died in car accident.
He is a politology professor and invited to lecture often,
usually for a few months.
There is no physical incest between them, but to me
it looks as a "mild" version of Humbert-Lolita, and the
absence of this relationship (which indeniably was a torture
to Lolita), lets this "Lolita-Blue" speak to the readers - she is a very
talkative "Lolita". To me it was a very interesting
"glimpse" to the (possible) Lolita's inner world.

Sergei Soloviev

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