Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025323, Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:28:33 -0300

Re: SIGHTING: Charlie Chaplin and Humbert in LO

De: Jansy Mello [mailto:jansy.mello@outlook.com]
Enviada em: quarta-feira, 23 de abril de 2014 17:25
Para: 'Vladimir Nabokov Forum'
Assunto: RES: [NABOKV-L] SIGHTING: Charlie Chaplin and Humbert in LO

Good comments, Frances. Nevertheless, don’t you think that even “stupid
reviews” (or, “spectacularly wanton” ones, as I described it) deserve a
space for discussion in the VN-L when their subject relates to Nabokov and
may serve to open new inroads concerning Nabokov, such as StadlenÂ’s
relating 342 takes to the number 342 in the novel Lolita? Or the coincidence
about the “violet” theme?

IsnÂ’t that what criticism is about, at least in part? ( I mean, finding
positive and negative points that help readers discern better whatever it
is they are reading).

Returning to the “violets” (viola/viol/vial/phial and… fialka?) in the
posting where I quoted from Ada (related to her “violarium”) I forgot to add
the concluding lines that mention Dr. KrolikÂ’s death (he died intestate)
since the three quotes begin with violets and end with references to death.
BrianÂ’s relation of violets and larvae in ADA to John ShadeÂ’s lines about
IPH [“Iph / Was a larvorium and a violet, / A grave in Reason’s early
spring.” (52, ll. 515-17) ] added a fundamental connection not only
concerning those two novels, but his short-stories too.

I found the Russian word “fialka” in Aliko Nakata’s article and another
entry deserving investigation: violets and women ( mothers and adulterous

“Fialta, an Adriatic resort whose name is a blend of Fiume and Yalta (Boyd
Russian Yeas, 426), is associated with violets via fialka, the Russian word
for violet (Lee 33, Parker 131). The first association of Fialta with
violets occurs near the beginning of the story: "I am fond of Fialta [Â…]
because I feel in the hollow of those violaceous syllables the sweet dark
dampness of the most rumpled of small flowers, and because the altolike name
of a lovely Crimean town is echoed by its viola" (413, italics added). The
adjectives "dark" and "small," used here to describe violets, are also used
elsewhere to describe Nina: "I still wonder what exactly she meant to me,
that small dark woman of the narrow shoulders and 'lyrical limbs' " (423).
A Failed Reader Redeemed: "Spring in Fialta" and The Real Life of Sebastian
Knight Akiko Nakata, Nagoya, Japan. Nabokov Studies, 11, 2007/2008.

De: Vladimir Nabokov Forum [ <mailto:NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
mailto:NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU] Em nome de frances assa
Enviada em: quarta-feira, 23 de abril de 2014 11:34
Assunto: Re: [NABOKV-L] SIGHTING: Charlie Chaplin and Humbert in LO

Well said, Walter. Chaplin was all those things. However the person posting
the stupid "review" is not necessarily accountable for its content.


Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:10:32 -0400
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] SIGHTING: Charlie Chaplin and Humbert in LO


Charlie Chaplin was a suspicious and angry man. His hubris had no limits,
nor his interest in young women. Did he inspire Nabokov's Lolita?... more
eview/> »



This gossip, snark, and psycho analysis on the Nabokov forum, of all places?
And "obsessive-compulsive disorder"? Really......

Does anyone here remember Charlie Chaplin? The artist and the grandeur and
the conscience.......

The raison d'etre of his work was not only aesthetic bliss but justice; and
for justice he sacrificed both wealth and home.

Walter Miale


De: Vladimir Nabokov Forum [mailto:NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU] Em nome de
Jansy Mello
Enviada em: terça-feira, 22 de abril de 2014 12:59
Assunto: [NABOKV-L] RES: [NABOKV-L] SIGHTING: Charlie Chaplin and Humbert in

Barrie Karp sends the following reference, spotted in The Spectator:


Jansy Mello: Great spotting, Barrie! It shows how the general public sees
one of VNÂ’s masterpieces and how they judge him under its influence.

I copied the main VN-related sentences:

“Did Chaplin inspire Nabokov to write Lolita? He’d have been a better
Humbert Humbert than James Mason. ‘I look bleary-eyed, like a murderer,’
Chaplin exclaimed, seeing a photograph taken at home, when he was out of
make-up. His last wife, Oona O’Neill, was 36 years his junior. ‘Part of her
always had to be a little girl, CharlieÂ’s little girl.Â’ It sounds horrific.
Oona became an alcoholic and people often witnessed Chaplin ‘in a terrible
rage and sheÂ’d run into her room and lock the door. HeÂ’d try and get her out
and it was all hell.’ “

[ ] “His sexual scandals, as revealed in numerous paternity suits, upset
morality. In 1952, his re-entry visa to the United States was rescinded, so
he moved to a villa in Switzerland. (A neighbour was Vladimir Nabokov,
interestingly. Did they meet? There’s a subject for Tom Stoppard.)”

I donÂ’t think Chaplin would make a better Humbert Humbert, a character in
VN’s novel, since his writings are unique in kind and “Lolita” was his one
and only love (despite her various metamorphoses into other girls). The
articleÂ’s parallels are, in my opinion, rather spectacularly wanton.


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