NABOKV-L post 0026570, Mon, 26 Oct 2015 21:13:08 -0700

Re: RES: [NABOKV-L] BIB: On the name "Lolita" ... Maar and
Dorothy Parker
Jansy Mello: Dear Carolyn. Although it is highly possible that VN had
read Lichberg’s “Lolita” ( Maar mentioned “cryptomnesia”?) the
differences in style, overall content, spirit/place, literary quality
and so forth make this association between VN and Lichberg somehow
secondary and the ensuing debates, since they lie only in the field of
“possibilities,” will depend exclusively of “opinions.” However, the
issue is worth keeping in mind as well as the other equally
illustrious possible examples of plagiarism, such as Dorothy Parker’s
“Lolita” which was published in 1955

Dear Jansy,

Very interesting - a third literary Lolita - I'll be hornswoggled!
this Lolita (that is Dorothy Parker's), though "not morose" does seem
more to fit the description of Hazel Shade. Shades of Haze(l)? I know
this confluence has been noted before but this do beat all.

But all seriousness aside, first of all shouldn't that be
cryptamnesia? We know that VN was not above stealing (perhaps
cryptamnesially) a good joke - remember we discussed the "next swan"
joke that he took from the famous Wagnerian tenor, Leo Slezak? If he
did it once (but where? I've forgotten) why not twice? If it is so
unimportant why did so many get into such a snit over Maar's discovery
of the von Lichberg Lolita? It matters a lot for the understanding of
Nabokov, to understand how his mind worked. It may be "somehow
secondary" but at this point is there much primary left to discuss? I
think it behooves us to remember that Vladimir Nabokov was not some
super human being and could very well have forgotten something he
read, that still lingered somewhere in his mind and re-emerged years
later as Dolores Haze. It happens with butterflies, after all.

Since both "Lolitas" (Nabokov's and Parker's) were published in '55 it
doesn't seem possible that there could be a question of plagiarism
there. Remember that Nabokov's novel first appeared in Paris in
English by means of a French publisher of pornography and so was not
exactly on the best-seller list of the day. If you are suggesting that
VN plagiarized from Parker, there simply wasn't enough time.

I find that the possibility that VN did read the von Lichberg story
can't be dismissed but that Parker plagiarized from VN or he from her
makes no sense at all.


On Oct 26, 2015, at 5:52 AM, Jansy Mello wrote:

C. Kunin: Dear ED SES, The name Lolita then, if you are correct and
you seem to be, takes on a unique status within the novel - more than
has previously been imagined. How does this influence how you feel
about the possibility that VN had indeed read the earlier Lichberg
"Lolita" tale as argued by Michael Maar? To me it suggests a
reinforcement of that possibility. Carolyn


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Mrs. Ewing was a short, middle aged Southern widow, who wore frills,
had an animated personality and many friends Her daughter, Lolita, was
quiet and plain.

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