NABOKV-L post 0017592, Wed, 14 Jan 2009 22:03:37 -0200

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Re: In his book Lolita ...
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Sandy P. Klein[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4230941/French-university-to-study-whether-gentleman-really-do-prefer-blondes.html] Top thinkers will convene in Paris' prestigious Sorbonne University this week to try to solve a crucial academic conundrum: do gentlemen really prefer blondes?[ ... ] In his book Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov's described the girl as a brunette, but in all the films of the book she was depicted as fair-haired[...]The organisers insisted that Marilyn Monroe would have approved of the conference, which runs from Jan 16 to 17.

JM: Alas, Sorbonne University lies too far away: I can see a russet moon from my window...but no Paris.
Btw: Borges' comparison of T.B. Macaulay's assessment of James Boswell (1831) and Bernard Shaw's mentions that, for the latter, biographee Samuel Johnson was Boswell's creation, an invented character (Borges didn't mention Hodges).
Like Kinbote, Boswell was an aristocrat, whereas Johnson was a staunch monarchist, exceedingly clumsy and no table-manners to speak of.
John Shade himself,a "popist", once described his resemblance to Samuel Johnson - and two local "hags" - one of them also "looks like Judge Goldsworth ("One of us," interposed Shade inclining his head), "especially when he is real mad at the whole world after a good dinner."
According to Borges, while he was writing Alexander Pope's biography, Samuel Johnson kept Pope's manuscripts and corrected drafts by his side and this is how he came to describe Pope's ellaborations in detail. For example, Johnson mentions the various phases undergone by a poetical epitet in Pope's version of Homer's Iliad (canto II).
Apparently Pope began by a description of a moon's "silvery light", before he added a bunch of shepherds and blotted out the word "silvery". Next, in lieu of "silvery light" he added a prosaic moon's "useful light". How lucky we are bwecause Shade's moondrop inspiration derives from Shakespeare, not Pope.

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