Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024755, Mon, 4 Nov 2013 18:07:56 -0500

Re: An Exchange on Humbert's Innocence
I have never taken seriously the idea that "Humbert" could have fathered
Lo, but in college some 15 years back, under the tutelage of Ed Allen, I
began a writing project based on the idea that he fathered a child by her 3
years prior to the pregnancy that took her life, and on the idea that she
gave the kid up for adoption, in which the main character was said child,
now grown up and obsessed with learning information about Lo and "Humbert."
I may actually attempt to finish it "someday" but am currently feeling as
if I have "bitten off more than I can chew."

On Sun, Nov 3, 2013 at 6:03 AM, Jansy Mello <jansy.nabokv-L@aetern.us>wrote:

> A. Stadlen's arguments about HH and Humpty
> Dumpty humoristically indicate that "*Humbert's fall, like Humpty's,
> like Finnegan's, is the Fall of Mankind. But the Fall is a Christian
> notion. Judaism does not have Original Sin [ ] **"Lolita" may have no
> moral in tow, but this is because it itself is the pilot not the piloted,
> being moral through and through, the paradigmatic moral and
> negative-theological discourse of our age. Disprove that! It's a possible
> hypothesis.*." However, part of his assertions seem to mingle
> informations derived from common-sense reality and established dogmas, with
> those that are purely fictional (a very Nabokovian trait) - like the
> philosophical implications related to "the Fall." (I always thought that
> biblical Adam's and Eve's disobedience and hybris, later imaged in
> Lucifer's fall, were related to the theory of the Original Sin and
> were still valid for Christians and for Jews.)
> Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to bring up an instance from
> "Pale Fire" (CK's note to line 549) in which we find Shade and Nabokov
> discussing sin, in the context of "obsolete terminology."
> shade: All the seven deadly sins are peccadilloes but without three of
> them, Pride, Lust and Sloth, poetry might never have been born.
> kinbote: Is it fair to base objections upon obsolete terminology?
> shade: All religions are based upon obsolete terminology.
> kinbote: What we term Original Sin can never grow obsolete.
> shade: I know nothing about that. In fact when I was small I thought it
> meant Cain killing Abel. Personally, I am with the old snuff-takers: *L’homme
> est né bon*.
> kinbote: Yet disobeying the Divine Will is a fundamental definition of
> Sin.
> shade: I cannot disobey something which I do not know and the reality of
> which I have the right to deny.
> kinbote: Tut-tut. Do you also deny that there are sins?
> shade: I can name only two: murder, and the deliberate infliction of
> pain.
> Nowadays words like "honor" and "dignity" like "sin" seem to be losing
> their former impact. Would they be obsolete, too, in John Shade's eyes?
> (V.Nabokov, elsewhere,* mentions "a norm," not sin or morality).
> I agree with A.Stadlen's and J.Aisenberg's ideas, following J.A's quotes
> from "Lolita,"about HH having made up the information concerning the
> paternity of Lolita. (there are many other discrepancies in
> the plot related to it).
> ..................................................................................................................................................
> * For Nabokov *“a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me
> what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss*” (Lolita, Afterword, page
> 314), described as "*a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with
> other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness) is the
> norm*
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