Vladimir Nabokov

Boyd, Brian. Lucette late in Ada. 2020-21

Bibliographic title
Lucette late in Ada
Periodical or collection
Nabokov Studies
Periodical issue
v. 17
Publication year

In Nabokov's Ada, I proposed long ago, Lucette intervenes in Van and Ada's life after her own death: in 1922, when they reunite for life, after a shaky first attempt, and in the last ten years of their lives, 1957-1967, when Van writes his memoir of his love for Ada. Others have accepted the evidence for these interventions. But we have overlooked the strong evidence for Lucette's post-mortal intervention in their lives in their 1905 reunion, which for readers follows swiftly upon her suicide. I had also failed to appreciate how aware Van and Ada seem to be—even if tentatively and obliquely—of Lucette's kindly spectral presence at crucial turning points in their lives.