NABOKV-L post 0009042, Tue, 16 Dec 2003 16:21:52 -0800

Fw: Patricia Highsmith and Lolita's road trip
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stringer-Hye, Suellen" <>
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> I agree. The undercurrent of what in pop culture is sometimes
> crudely termed the "mother daughter relationship" between Charlotte
> and Dolores, the family tragedies-- a dead brother and husband
> /father-- are so often overpowered by Humbert's narrative and his
> emphasis on Charlotte's bourgeois sensibilities. Take for example
> Humbert's presentation of the famous letter. He cuts out the very
> parts that would have made the letter touching rather than foolish.
> "I have left out a lyrical passage which I more or less skipped at
> the time, concerning Lolita's brother who died at 2 when she was 4
> and how much I would have liked him"
> at the time.....
> *******************************
> [Mark]
> Absolutely. And the Farlows as well. And Mona: haven't we all
> known a Mona, or two, at school? The characters are superbly
> drawn throughout. But something about Charlotte has always seemed
> extraordinary to me. I'm sure someone has pointed this out before,
> but Charlotte seems to haunt Lolita in much the same way that
> Hazel Shade haunts Pale Fire (well, actually, HH does.) To me,
> that is one of the things that makes HH's final meeting
> with > pregnant Lo so moving: I believe HH begins to realize that
> he really did love Charlotte, after his fashion, but was deceived
> in this, as in so many other things, because had been sketching
> the bars of his cage to the exclusion of all else.
> ---------------------------------------
> Stringer-Hye, Suellen
> Vanderbilt University
> Email: suellen.stringer-hye@Vanderbilt.Edu