Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000026, Thu, 10 Jun 1993 11:30:19 -0700

Lolita imitations (fwd)
---------- Text of forwarded message ----------
Date: 10 Jun 93 13:28:58 EST
From: EJNICOL@engfac.indstate.edu
Subject: Lolita imitations

For Don and the Donner Party: Here are my two candidates for Lolita
imitators, neither having anything to do with nymphets, although the
first is a bit nymphomaniacal.

1. Erica Jong's best-seller Fear of Flying has a section that is a
blatant--and bland, and incompetent--imitation of the "we came to
know" essay on motels that initiates Book 2 of Lolita; like Nabokov,
though without the transfer into French "nous connumes" (with a hat
over one vowel), she heads each paragraph of her travelog with with
"we came to know." I believe that she later contributed a foreword
to an American facsimile edition of the Olympia Lolita, although I
have not seen it.

2. Of much higher quality, the murder scene at the end of Don
Delillo's White Noise owes far too much to the murder of Quilty.