NABOKV-L post 0018631, Sat, 3 Oct 2009 22:13:58 -0300

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[NABOKOV-L] [SIGHTING] Vladimir Nabokov = Lolita
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Quizzed by a grand-daughter, who was following the items from a Kenneth C. Davis "Don't Know Much About Literature"(2009), "a compelling compendium of history's most influential literary works and writers," my score was uniformly... lamentable.
Take Fictional First Lines and answer who wrote: " It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"? or, for "Poetic First Lines", whose lines were "anyone lived in a pretty how town"?.
She progressed onto "What is the name of the eight year-old girl who adopts the newborn Wilbur, saving him from Papa's ax?" and to "What popular song contains the line, "And you read your Emily Dickinson/ And I my Robert Frost"?;
She asked me who was "Samuel Clemens" or, what does "Mark Twain" mean?... "What cult movie briefly features a giant puppet of Emily Dickinson?";; What baseball team does [Stephen King] root for? "Where does O.Wilde's phrase 'the love that dare not speak its name' come from?"

No reference to Zembla among "Fictional Places": there are "Mordor and Gondor", "St. Mary Mead"; "Alifbay" ,"Llaregub" (No Erewhwon either, for that matter.) Not even under "Dystopias."
As yet ( the quiz isn't over) no reference to "Pale Fire" under "Catchy Titles" [Tender is the Night (Keats); For whom the bell tolls ( Donne); The Sound and the Fury (Shakespeare); Where Angels Fear to Tread ( Pope), aso...]
Nabokov's novels don't come up in the list of "Obscene books" ( there are Joyce, Lawrence, Henry Miller, Walt Whitman...) nor under "Banned Books" (entries valid for the Twenty-first Century, one for "depictions of sexuality in a series about a high school girl".,

Time magazine's top-ten list of novels place Tolstoy's Anna Karenina first; Time magazine's 2007 list of great novels ranks Madame Bovary at #2 (behind Anna Karenina). No Andrey Biely's "Petersburg." ... For Nabokov, he ranked first.
But there was a quiz about Vladimir Nabokov, "whose name is 'synonymous with Lolita'."

1. In what language was Lolita originally written?; 2. What is Lolita's real name?; 3. As the narrator Humbert Humbert writes his memoir from prison, he awaits trial for what crime?; 4. What does Humbert Humbert call the young girls to whom he is so attracted?; Bonus question: What children's story, whose author had a controversial obsession with young girls, did Nabokov translate into Russian?; What was Nabokov's other profession?

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