NABOKV-L post 0007288, Mon, 16 Dec 2002 15:14:52 -0800

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[Fwd: RE: Fw: : Quilty's name: The Poetry of Being Quilty]
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From: "Brian Boyd (FOA ENG)" <b.boyd@auckland.ac.nz>
To: "'Vladimir Nabokov Forum'" <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
Subject: RE: Fw: : Quilty's name: The Poetry of Being Quilty
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2002 11:42:32 +1300
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See below. --BB

----- Original Message -----
From: STADLEN@aol.com <mailto:STADLEN@aol.com>
To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU <mailto:NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2002 1:57 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: : Quilty's name: The Poetry of Being Quilty

In a message dated 16/12/02 04:28:17 GMT Standard Time,
chtodel@cox.net <mailto:chtodel@cox.net> writes:


> There is no reason to suppose Quilty's name a pseudonym, and since HH
> wants
> > to indict him as the villain of the piece, every reason to
> assume that he
> > would have chosen not to spare his name.
> >
> > BB



Dear Professor Boyd,

Why, then, is "Vivian Darkbloom", who, according to John Ray Jr.,
PhD, has written Quilty's biography, a pseudonym, as also indicated
by John Ray Jr., PhD? How could disguising the name of the author
of a biography of a correctly named playwright save anyone's
anonymity? Come to that, if, as Dr Ray tells us, we can look these
events up in the newspaper, we would surely learn the true name of
HH. He dies before facing trial, but his arrest would have been
reported.


Precisely.

Within the fiction, HH expects the trial to go ahead (he doesn't
know he's about to die, except perhaps in the last paragraph) and
therefore to be reported. But he doesn't expect his confession to be
read for another half-century. He's protecting everybody (including
even himself and of course Lolita, whose true maiden and married
surnames are not disclosed and who will be dead by the time the book
is published) except Clare Quilty, to whom "I have camouflaged what
I could so as not to hurt people" obviously does not apply.

But of course VN knows we are not within the fiction, and he has HIS
reasons for the scare quotes around the names of the "real" people
beyond the "true" story in paragraph 3 of Ray's introduction:
especially, to introduce the fact of Lolita's death in a way that
first-time readers cannot detect, amid the thicket of camouflaged
names, but in a way they can identify immediately they end the
novel, if they have not already rushed to do so at the end of
Dolly's note in II.27.

"Vivian Darkbloom" is there in quotes because all the other names
are, and because VN needed an anagram of his own name to point to
his authorship in case anyone else claimed it, at the time when he
was expecting to publish the book anonymously.


Incidentally, do YOU have any idea why the hotel in Kubrick's film
is "The Hunted Enchanters"? That would be Nabokov's doing, if
anyone's, wouldn't it? Nobody responded when I asked this a few
months ago.

No idea. No, it wouldn't be VN's doing; he has "Enchanted Hunters"
in his Screenplay, and Kubrick decided what he wanted once he had
VN's name and reputation behind the screenplay as additional
protection against the threat of censorship.

Best wishes,

Anthony Stadlen