NABOKV-L post 0017285, Sat, 8 Nov 2008 13:40:03 -0500

Re: QUERY: Aunts and orphans

Graham Greene's Travels with My Aunt has a twist on this. [Spoiler:] The aunt, who turns up at the protagonist's mother's funeral, turns out to be the real mother.

Date: Sat, 8 Nov 2008 02:19:18 -0200From: jansy@AETERN.USSubject: Re: [NABOKV-L] QUERY: Aunts and orphansTo: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU

MR: It might be interesting to think about why exactly VN chose to make JS an orphan, and whether or not this fits with the way orphans have traditionally functioned in literary narratives.
JM: Unlike aunts, evil stepmothers are fairly common in " real fairy-tales". In VN's fiction we find both: stepfathers and aunts. Didn't elves switch human babies as a prank?
Van was raised by an aunt, Aqua, under the ilusion that she was his real mother, something rather uncommon before DNA testing. Most of the time this is actually the case with betrayed fathers, such as Sebastian's, in TRLSK, and it seems to have taken place quite often in ADA. ( geneaologies are not to be trusted, even when marked by a "sinister bend")

btw & concerning orphaned kids: what other character's mother besides HH's, has been killed by lightining?

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