NABOKV-L post 0017288, Sun, 9 Nov 2008 08:37:13 -0200

Re: QUERY: Aunts and orphans
Frances Assa [ to JM: "Van was raised by an aunt, Aqua, under the ilusion that she was his real mother...geneaologies are not to be trusted") :: 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.

JM: The same kind of twist VN parodied in TRLSK as in the final revelation of hidden blood ties as often found in Agatha Christie, for example.
VN mentions in "Lolita", Christie's "A Murder is Announced": One of A.C's characters is called Pippa (that "doesn't pass or piss", as quipped in Pale Fire) who seems to be a cousin, daughter or son, uncle or aunt to almost everybody else - for the name Pippa ( like Evelyn, Vivien or like mine & yours) is not sufficiently informative about gender.
VN's uncle Ruka, and VN himself, enjoyed "La Bibliothèque Rose" and it teems with stories like these. I often forget that one should also consider the French authors, the Dumas family, for example.

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