Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024719, Sat, 26 Oct 2013 11:56:04 -0700

Re: Taking Humbert and Quilty Singularly
How interesting, Jansy -- I didn't even think of the fact that he wasn't accused of child molestation. Although, until the "confessions" were published, it wouldn't have been known, since Lolita didn't press charges, and Charlotte didn't have a chance to.

But I'm impressed that you suspected Humbert's innocence - it never occurred to me until just a few weeks ago, in relation to the accusation against Colette (de Juvenal). 

I;ve been re-reading Lolita since I wrote in - and I am more and more convinced that Humbert in fact is Lolita's biological father. The timing of the soi disant affair between Charlotte and Humbert is too perfect, isn't it. I never have found the source of that damned gun though. John Farlow provided Humbert with the bullets and taught him how to use it. That's all I could find.

I hope others will join us in this quest for the guilty party. 

p.s. Thanks for the kind words.

From: Jansy Mello <jansy.nabokv-L@AETERN.US>
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 6:42 PM
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] Taking Humbert and Quilty Singularly

Carolyn Kunin: [  ] Mary thought I had "got the
wrong Quilty" when I posited that Ivor Quilty was the more probable child
molester (than either Humbert or Clare)... perhaps too glamorous Clare Quilty
does not exist, except in Humbert's false or perhaps better say pseudo
confession. I am suggesting that, just as in Pale Fire the perhaps too glamorous
Charles Kinbote is an aspect of Shade and has no independant existence, Ivor
(the dentist) Quilty, is the the only Quilty, and therefore the only pedophile
who molests Lolita. Clare Quilty, like Vivian Darkbloom, is then a figment of
Humbert's guilt-ridden imagination. [  ]You must understand that I am
asking these questions in a speculative (mirroring?) sort of mood. Can't I then
further ask, if Nabokov could create a first-person pedophile narrator without
himself being a pedophile then, as worlds regress, could it not also be that his
creation has himself created a first person pedophile narrator of a fiction
entitled Confessions of a White Widowed Male. Speculatively speaking, of course.
Jansy recently brought to our attention Don Johnson's Worlds in Regression, the
title of which I seem to recall refers to VN's image of his works as paintings
hanging somewhere in the ether for the viewer to contemplate - outside of time
as it were. I have been attempting to do this, to put aside detailed analyses
and close readings, and simply contemplate what I know of this and other works
by Nabokov, and wonder if we haven't missed something.
Jansy Mello:  Before you sent today's message I was
totally confused by your new Lolita reading. It now begins to make
sense, since I always felt the HH was inventing his experience with Lolita, even
though there was a real pedophile involved his his report. He wasn't even
imprisioned or charged of being a child molester, right?  
However, my developments followed a different direction to remain,
like yours, a distant speculation. In my view, HH confabulates the
two Quilty cousins (who were both real in his fiction)
into one cruel persecutory fictional Quilty wearing various
disguises and roaming over all sorts of places.
The real Clare would have abused and jilted Lolita right from
the start and this was something unbearable to HH in his ambivalent
feelings (Lolita could not be rejected... she had to remain the most
covetted nymphet in the entire world!)
Lolita was attracted to Quilty because she envied her mother's
romantic attachments, first with him as a playwright*
and lecturer - and then HH (the oedipal touch)  
I think that your idea that HH is not the real molester, but a 
pervert called Quilty and was moved to write because of his love and
guilt feelings in connection to Lolita is wonderful and worth exploring.
* Sometimes I make a mistake while spelling a familiar word and find myself
unable to be certain that I'll be able to correct it. This is why I went to
the wiki for help (I initially wrote playright and, sure enough, I knew
it was wrong on both counts:in its spelling and "right" related to
a pervert) :
term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite
distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder (as in a wheelwright or cartwright). Hence
the prefix and the suffix combine to indicate someone who has wrought words, themes, and other elements into
a dramatic form - someone who crafts plays. Thehomophone with write is in this case entirely
term playwright appears to have been coined by Ben
Jonson in his Epigram 49, To Playwright,[1] as an insult, to suggest a mere
tradesman fashioning works for the theatre. He always described himself as a
poet, since plays during that time were written in meter and so regarded as the
provenance of poets. This view was held even as late as the early 19th century.
The term later lost this negative connotation.

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