NABOKV-L post 0002300, Mon, 25 Aug 1997 11:33:24 -0700

Subject
Re: apes, zoos & Lolita (fwd)
Date
Body
From: Jeff Edmunds <jhe@psulias.psu.edu>


A couple of tidbits on drawing apes. I once came across a multi-media work
by a South African artist (whose name escapes me) which included a
photograph of a dejected chimp holding a drawing implement and seated
before a piece of paper upon which had been drawn several vertical lines.
Bars, perhaps? (It was impossible to judge the photo's age.)

Unlike Roy Johnson, I don't believe the drawing ape reference is a VN red
herring intended to cause wild goose chases, if I may mix my zoological metaphors.
I do think VN misidentified the anecdote's source. Some enterprising
Nabokovian might want to investigate Theophile Gautier's essays on Paris
and all things Parisian, published in various newspapers between 1836-1871.
Several of the short pieces feature Jack, an ape residing in the Jardin des
Plantes, whose antics were a source of fascination for the Parisian beau
monde for several years.

Jeff Edmunds