NABOKV-L post 0018462, Wed, 15 Jul 2009 19:41:27 -0300

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Re: THOUGHTS re: "My Cue"
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JF: Scott Houldin's post suggests another possibility: Ray could have given Humbert's victim a name starting with Q to go with the title of Vivian Darkbloom's autobiography. But I'm becoming less sure of what we're talking about...By the way, I hope nobody thought "Gerald Friedman" ("Spearwielder Peaceman") was my real name. This seems like a good time to reveal that my name is Michael Ulibarri, and sign myself...Mike U.

JM: Mike Who? Mike Gooe? Good arguments all around.
And I'm also becoming less sure of what we're talking. Also because of our Ed's additional information, added to Alexey's comments and the Russian "Kumir moi".

SB wrote: It might be worth listing some of the various interpretations of what is "real" at what level of the novel Lolita...John Ray, Jr. himself may lack "independent existence"--He may (like Quilty) be a double of H.H. as well... Parts of this approach have appeared in Julian Connolly's article in Nabokov Studies No. 2. George Ferger (among others?) has drawn attention to the curious parallel between Claire Quilty's initials and the first and final letters in the name/title of Ray's 'good friend and relation' (and H.H.'s lawyer) Clarence Choate Clark, Esq. Allegedly, Clark's name is as "real" as Ray's. A side note on "My Cue": the title in Nabokov's Russian translation becomes "Kumir moi", which draws its "Ku" from "Kuil'ti", and means "My Idol"--and punningly evokes the phrase "Ku--mir moi", or "Ku [Q] is my world" (as Alexander Dolinin pointed out to me). An additional note for non-Russianists: The construction "My Cue" very slightly evokes 1920s and '30s books on Pushkin, one by Marina Tsvetaeva and one by Valerii Briusov, entitled "Moi Pushkin" (My Pushkin).

JM: Nabokov once mentioned that Lolita's name was more famous than his. I also vaguely remember a distinction he made between his way of relating to "Lolita" and Flaubert's, who once stated, concerning Madame Bovary: "Emma, c'est moi." In other words, the one thing I'm certain right now is that Nabokov is not Lolita.
Changing the subject. I spent the afternoon trying to get hold of a novel written in French ( I had read a translation into Portuguese) which seemed to have various insistent, but vague, references to Nabokov ( Shade's lines about a richly rhymed life and plexed artistry, moths and butterflies and a very important squirrel).
The author, like Nabokov, is a consumate bilinguist. He was born in Russia in 1958 and moved to France in 1987. As a French writer he received various important prizes ( Médicis, Goncourt).
His name is Andrei Makine and the book is "La Musique d'Une Vie." I'm curious to learn if anyone has spotted these "allusional themes". Only after having access to his French novel would I get a clearer "feeling" about his intentions.

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