Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024372, Sun, 30 Jun 2013 01:19:36 -0400

Re: THOUGHTS: Vivien Maier photo and Dolores
Is this the photo of VN in car that you were reminded of when you saw the
photo by Vivian Maier in the Wikipedia article at the link you gave? Why
did it remind you of that VN photo? (none of your photos showed up in the
email post I received).

The Maier photo to which you refer is one of her many self-portraits,
probably a mirror reflection.
It's interesting that you think of titles, because I saw all her NYC
exhibits in the past year and was very unhappy with the titles someone gave
some of the prints -- I felt certain they were not her titles, and based on
my impression of the photos one by one, especially regarding formal
aspects, I felt the titles were poor and that it was wrong to do that to
her work. I think perhaps Maloof himself does not put titles, but just
descriptives or dates, but I'm not sure. I see her work online often.

I've read some about Vivian Maier in the past few years. In this Wikipedia
article it calls her an amateur photographer. Amateur? She's one of the

And she had a distinctive art-making process, she is among the greats with
VN in that sense.
She never even saw many or most of her pictures, yet as they've been
developed in the past few years we find one knockout after another. She
did some filming too, and I've seen some of the short films. It's
important that she did see a lot of her photos also. It's interesting that
VN is so much a visual cinematic writer, & interesting thinking of that in
relation to trying to imagine how Vivian Maier thought when she composed
pictures and explored the art of photography.

Photos below:


Barrie Karp

Is this the VN photo with car you mean? Why does the one below it of / and
by Vivian Maier remind you of it? do you have a pictorial reason? She
looks away, discovering later if she develops and prints that shot, how she
looks at that angle and leaving the results, in her capable knowing hands
and brain, & also very much to chance and many possible accidents. She had
no helpmate, no money, and no recognition or little recognition. She was
alone. She worked as a nanny. She was perhaps a kind of exile. If what
those she nannied for are quoted correctly in the Wikipedia article, she
certainly was outsider -- allegedly they said:

"She was a Socialist, a Feminist, a movie critic, and a tell-it-like-it-is
type of person. She learned English by going to theaters, which she loved.
She wore a men's jacket, men's shoes, and a large hat most of the time. She
was constantly taking pictures, which she didn't show anyone.[6]

[image: Vivian Maier.jpg]

On Sat, Jun 29, 2013 at 9:51 PM, NABOKV-L, English

> Fran Assa writes:
> Apropos of Dolores
> This is a photo by Vivien Dorothy Maier who died in 2009 at the age of 83.
> Her negatives, approximately 100,000 of them, were sold off a few years
> earlier by the owner of the storage locker where they were kept, to pay for
> the unpaid charges. They were discovered at an auction. See
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivian_Maier
> Obviously when I saw this photo I immediately linked it to one of Nabokov
> sitting in a car. Only, eerily, he has been replaced with the face of a
> young girl of Lolita’s age with an enigmatic expression. I call the
> photo *Apropos of Dolores* after the title of an HG Wells book, since
> Wells was beloved by Nabokov.
> --
> Susan Elizabeth Sweeney
> Co-Editor, NABOKV-L
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