NABOKV-L post 0004810, Thu, 24 Feb 2000 16:21:29 -0800

Re: Pale Fire & homophobia; American Beauty (fwd)
On Wed, 23 Feb 20 NABOKV-L wrote:

> lines) ------------------
> the big problem i have with the american beauty and lolita connection (and
> also with the recent lolita film by adrian lyne) is that the grown man/young
> girl match is much weaker today--in the scandalous sense--then it was 50
> years ago. the closer film to nabokov's lolita is actually tod solondz's
> film happiness, which has a married man desiring, and then raping a young
> boy after doctoring his tuna sandwich. in this movie, our sympathy for the
> father (who the filmmaker never makes us hate or loath, but pity) combined
> with the modern moral outrage attached to man/boy (nambla!) matches comes
> closer, i think, to the effect or charge nabokov's novel achieved in its
> time. if you are to make an accurate film version of lolita you must change
> from dolly to johnny

One recalls that some time in the fifties, one of the prospective
publishers apparently offered to publish it if Nabokov agreed to change
Humbert into a farmer and dolly a Johnny, and had hum seduce the boy in a
barn amidst gaunt and arid surroundings, all this set forth in short,
strong "realistic" sentences. The wheel keeps turning I guess. I don't
think that 18 year old girls( One remembers Monique in that sense) can be
put on the same level as Lolita. And I think the big problem I had with
Adrian Lyne's film is that he changed a few fundamental things, especially
the fact that Humbert had always been a pedophile and so on. In fact,
Lolita the movie seems to be a descendant of a terrible reading of Lolita,
the book.


"There is always one more bug."
- Andy Bakich.

"Balzac carried a cane on which was carved the legend I smash every
obstacle; my legend reads: Every obstacle smashes me."
-Franz Kafka

"[Countess Tolstoy] mentioned that a great number of bums kept coming to
see her husband, to which Gorki politely agreed."
-Vladimir Nabokov, Lectures on Russian Literature

"The lower the order of mental activity the better the company."
-Company. Samuel Beckett