NABOKV-L post 0000307, Mon, 25 Jul 1994 19:33:14 -0700

Subject
RLSKn Beheading
Date
Body
A couple of weeks ago I passed on the information in the following
message. I have now located the volume in question and wanted to
add a couple of details. DBJ
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"VN mentions another example in RLSKn. In Sebastian's study there
is, inter alia, "an enlarged snapshot of a Chinese stripped to the waist,
in the act of being vigorously beheaded." (It is juxtaposed with a photo
of a curly child playing with a pup.) Nabokovian John de Moss has passed
on to me the source for this, albeit a copy from a later publication than
VN's immediate source. I have not seen this myself, but those of you with
macabre tastes and access to huge libraries might want to check it out.
Roland Villeneuve, LE MUSEE DE SUPPLICES (Henri Veyre, Paris 1974), p.
75." ----------------------------------

1) The scene in RLSKn is near the end of Chapter 4 (p. 41 in my 1977 NEW
DIRECTIONS paperback). V. is prowling in the late Sebastian's study
looking for clues to his character and notices the two photographs
described above. (Just after, he peruses a series of book titles--mostly
obvious, but with two that don't show up in a quick computer check--"The
Author of Trixie" and "About Buying a HOrse"? DOes anyone recognize these
off hand? (Also, I notice, no one is trying to identify the source of the
kiddy-puppy shot.) 2) The citation for Villeneuve's volume is correct, but
the page number is 175, not 75. Villeneuve does not give his source for
the photograph (nor so far as I can see, discuss it), but his caption
reads : "Decapitation chinoise en pleine rue, durant la guerre civile." I
assume this refers to the Chinese civil war of 1920-1926. The scene in
RLSKn is near the end of Chapter 4 (p. 41 in my 1977 New Directions
paperback). V. is prowling in the late Sebastian's study looking for clues
to his character and notices the two photographs described above. (Just
after, he peruses a series of book titles--mostly obvious, but with two
that don't show up in a quick computer check--"The Author of Trixie" and
"About Buying a HOrse"? DOes anyone recognize these off hand? 3)
Villeneuve's well(?)-illustrated opus went thru at least three printings
(editions?) with three different publishers between 1968-71) and has a
sizable bibliography. So far as I can tell, the MUSEUM OF TORTURE that he
uses for his catchy title is solely his book title and does not refer to
an actual French museum.