Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0027331, Tue, 21 Mar 2017 07:58:49 -0700

Thomas Hardy's the Well-Beloved
In "Thomas Hardy Half a Londoner," The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016, Mark Ford says, of a scene in "The Well-Beloved":

"Avice II may, in London, be an innocent abroad, but back in the Isle of Slingers she has already followed 'island custom' (that is, had premarital sex), as pierston and her mother failed to do, and then been married in secret, though not to the man she in fact truly loved, who was a soldier. One wonders if Vladimir Nabokov had this scene at the back of his mind when Lolita reveals her sexual history to a dazed Humbert Humbert on their first night together in The Enchanted Hunters Hotel."

On the previous page, Ford quotes from the preceding scene of the novel, in which Pierston is scanning the street for the return of the (presumed) lost Avice and I could not help noticing a similarity to Pale Fire.

"The two lamps of each vehicle afar dilated with its near approach and seemed to swerve towards him."

Compare PF, lines 430-432:

"A host narrator took us through the fog
Of a March night, where headlights from afar
Approached and grew like a dilating star..."

Barrie Akin

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