NABOKV-L post 0017566, Tue, 6 Jan 2009 05:18:45 -0200

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Re: Two from SKB
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Re: [NABOKV-L] Two from SKBOpinions are often simple exercises to shift perspectives when we examine a theory. However, it may happen that one is only expressing emotions, such as one's displeasure with bad or facile puns in literature.
When we express a personal taste instead of an intelligent argument (de gustibus non disputandum), we reveal a "personal fact". My opinion about Hayes=Haze is not an intelligent argument, see?
Independently of attributing an intention to Humbert's "character", qua Haze/Hays, or to his creator VN, such an imputation ( a curious word in this context) strikes me as false or gross, as not being typical of Nabokov. Besides, perverse monstrous HH is not capable of every type of sin, his "contempt for the Haze character" stops short from his shooting her, but he does stop.

I cannot agree, with SKB, that "I shouldn't harbor a theory" about HH's confessions - written in an insane asylum. Are HH's references to Quilty, to the police or to the winged members of the jury, in Lolita, to be read outside the fictional universe of the novel?
Nevertheless, I do agree that Lolita's plot relies on the "reality" of HH's exploitation of his young step-child and, therefore, that the supposition that HH "only dreamed of bedding his fantasies" completely alters the efficacy and poignancy (plus a hundred adjectives more) of VN's novel.
I entertained this conjecture because, outside the literary field, this kind of delusion sometimes takes place.
I think it is important that we remember that, in the novel, HH tried and failed to avoid acting out his fantasies with Lolita as, for example, under the protection of a "crystal sleep" - but that HH was perfectly aware that his tactics were almost as harmful and perverse as when he actually raped her.
I also think that many of his "confessions" are delusional.

Jansy


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Tim Henderson: ...don't you think the 'childish and cruel' wordplay is really part of HH's character, part of his contempt for the Haze character? His own name is a self-constructed pseudonym, isn't it, despite the fact that he puts it into "real" dialogue....?

1.SKB to JM [ Why would VN be merely teasing when he saw in Carroll an HH prototype] Many valid reasons to distinguish the eccentric Victorian Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) from VN's monster[...] IF you harbour the theory that HH "only dreamed" of bedding his fantasies, then you're reading a different novel [...]Lolita's own reactions (not to mention Quilty's and the FBI's?) to his merely "dreamed" rogerings must also be moved to HH's febrile imagination[...]BTW: David Crystal reports that the word "paedophile" first appears in written English 1924. I can't verify this right now, but if true, one wonders what such offenders were called in Carroll's times.

2.SKB to JM [ I consider a play with both names, C.Hayes and C.Haze, childish and cruel. The use of "harlot"...might have triggered some kind of vague authorial irony...still be a tasteless joke - should it not have been simply accidental ] I think we have different notions of what constitutes "allusional proof." I still see no hard evidence that VN's decision to name Lo's mother as Charlotte Haze had anything to do with the existence of a real Madame called Charlotte Hayes. In fact, your observation that "Charlotte" hides the string "harlot" helps reduce the likelihood.



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