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
Borges, like VN, expressed very positive opinions concerning JJ's
"Ulysses", but he was very critical of the "Wake".
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)
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