Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0026998, Sat, 14 May 2016 10:55:14 -0300

RES:[NABOKV-L] Quiz: unreliable narrators and fictional
Matt Roth: I have always thought that the coincidence of 342s (Lawn St,
hotel room, hotel registries) in Lolita was HH's invention, so as to make
himself seem a pawn of McFate.

Jansy Mello: Matt's interpretation of one of my past postings proves that I
formulated it incorrectly ( I wrote about my project to "invite the VN-L
participants to offer suggestions about the "fictional facts" that can be
considered as unquestionable "fictional truths" in any VN's novel.").

In the instances cited by Matt we find that a "fictional fact" (a possibly
random house number in a random street) has been deftly (a bit too
emphatically) transformed into a "fictional truth" (the number in a hotel
room), and then, almost quietly, resuscitated as a definite total number of
hotel registrations that coincides with the former 342s (in this case it's
an uncertain fictional truth with the intention of, for example, "make
himself seem a pawn of McFate).

Things are even more complicated than I thought! Great suggestion, Matt.

"In the slow clear hand of crime I wrote: Dr. Edgar H. Humbert and daughter,
342 Lawn Street, Ramsdale. A key (342!) was half-shown to me (magician
showing object he is about to palm) - and handed over to Uncle Tom[ ]
Parody of a hotel corridor. Parody of silence and death.

"Say, it's our house number," said cheerful Lo.

"I have a memo here: between July 5 and November 18, when I returned to
Beardsley for a few days, I registered, if not actually stayed, at 342
hotels, motels and tourist homes. This figure includes a few registrations
between Chestnut and Beardsley... and there must have been at least fifty
places where I merely inquired at the desk..."

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