NABOKV-L post 0005894, Fri, 6 Apr 2001 10:30:32 -0700

[Fwd: Speak, Memory, Amis,
and a German stage adaptation of Lolita]]
EDITOR's NOTE. The originator of this posting tells me it did not go
out, although my machine says it did. Could someone advise me whether
this was received - or, for that matter, were any NABOKV-L postings
received for March 30-31. The computer gods move in strange ways.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Fwd: Speak, Memory, Amis, and a German stage adaptation
of Lolita]
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 10:37:58 -0800
From: "D. Barton Johnson" <>
Organization: International Nabokov Society
To: vn <>

This link may have been posted before, but Jerofejew's text on Lolita
reminds me that the 16th ('unpublished') chapter of Speak, Memory is
also available (in German) at
The toothpaste problem and the "Pears" soap remind me of Martin Amis'
comment on Joyce and Nabokov: "I claim peership with these masters only
in one area. Not in the art and not in the life. Just in the teeth. In
the teeth." (Experience, 117) I suspect they all use or used the same
brand of toothpaste ("talent-o-dent": the company also produces dental
gloss) - not exactly good for the teeth, but quite inspiring.
What hasn't been mentioned on this list so far, I think, is Martin Amis'
comment on Experience and Speak, Memory in an interview on Australian TV
in July 2000. I quote from the transcript

TONY JONES: So we have become used to Martin Amis the novelist,
obviously, manipulating stories, and the question here is
whether you
can, in fact, manipulate the story of your own life and whether
that in
the end could become part of a post-modern experiment?

MARTIN AMIS: Well, you're making decisions and following
instincts in very much the same way as you do with fiction, but
it's far
more essayistic and discursive form.
But your novelist habits are so engrained that, of course,
looking for themes and patterns and symmetries, and you're
trying to
keep several balls in the air at the same time.
I don't think it's -- I mean, I've done nothing in this book
that Nabokov
didn't do much more skilfully in 'Speak Memory'.
There is a sort of high-end kind of autobiography and there's
the low
My book is nothing like as artistically patterned as 'Speak
although it may look like 'Speak Memory' when compared to Joan
Collins's autobiography.
As there seem to be a few people in Germany subscribed to this list, it
may be worth mentioning that there will be a stage adaptation of Lolita
performed (by students of Bonn University who apparently also wrote the
script) at the Brotfabrik in Bonn in April. In the notes
it says that the play tries to stay true to the novel, particularly to
its language. Humbert's paedophilia is mentioned as long having been
surpassed in brutality by 'real' child abuse.
Knowing that Albee's 1980 Lolita was a flop, I wonder if rewarding
adaptations of the novel are possible at all, and I'm curious to see
what this one will be about. Has anyone seen a good adaptation?