Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025126, Wed, 26 Feb 2014 16:32:28 -0500

Re: THOUGHTS: Lolita's leaping tailor
I wonder if "that tailor with his homemade parachute forty years ago when
about to jump from the Eiffel Tower" is somehow relevant to "Signs and

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In a message dated 26/02/2014 19:00:04 GMT Standard Time, mroth@MESSIAH.EDU

In part 1, Chapter 29 of Lolita, Humbert, standing above the sleeping
girl, says “For at least two minutes I waited and strained on the brink, like
that tailor with his homemade parachute forty years ago when about to jump
from the Eiffel Tower” (AnLo 128). Oddly, Appel provides no annotation.
The tailor in question is Franz Reichelt, and his leap was fatal. VN must
have seen the newsreel (see link) below, as most of it is taken up with
ill-fated Franz standing on the brink. Humbert’s image is lively enough on its
own, but I have to say that it takes on a new flavor after one watches the
Matt Roth
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