The Enchanted Hunters and the Hunted Enchanters: the dizzying effects of embedded structures and meta-artistic devices in Lolita, novel and film
Entry converted from: https://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/biblol.htm
This paper explores some of the various mise-en-abîme and metatextual devices in Nabokov’s and Kubrick’s Lolita, so as to explore how such devices create a poetics of reflections, and themselves reflect the manner in which the relationship to the reader/spectator is engaged by the literary and filmic narratives. As underscored by Lucien Dallenbach, internal duplications or self-reflexive devices are double-layered: they serve a purpose in the fictional universe, and have a reflexive function aimed at disclosing one of the text’s components. Self-reflexivity entails a game between the creator and his audience that is taking place outside of the diegetic world. This paper studies the function of self-reflexive devices by first focusing upon some self-reflexive features of both works, then on the prospective mise-en-abîme, and finally, on the main retro-prospective mise-en-abîme of the story, the Enchanted Hunters/Hunted Enchanters play, in both novel and film.