-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: Query: Humbert's Diary (fwd)]
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2001 12:06:25 +1100 (EST)
From: Kiran Krishna <kiran@Physics.usyd.edu.au>
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>

 ---------------- Message requiring your approval (129 lines) ------------------
In point of fact, the actual text contains a number of warnings that some
of the things might have been modified later. Also, there is the
Flaubertian transition between diary and the mentioning of the poem in
praise of Lolita's eyelashes (from memory: I don't have the text in front
of me), back to the diary again (with 'Diary resumed').


On Wed, 21 Nov 2001, D. Barton Johnson wrote:

> ------------------
> There's another hypothosis -- assuming fictional character's have lives
> of their own, as VN's tend so often to do, perhaps at the time Humbert
> was writing the diary he believed no one but himself could possibly
> decipher it's maniacal curlicues, but by the time he is writing
> _Lolita_ five years later in prison, he well knows that the scrutiny of
> a loving and jealous wife can achive what he thought to be impossible.
> Thus the loving wif
e comment is not an authentic line form the original
> diary, but an afterthought inserted either satirically or unconsciously
> by Humber the jailhouse litteratuer.
> One might say that this is a lot of suposing to be doing, but on the
> other hand, despite Humbert's photographic memory, he admits to
> inserting a line or two into Lotte's lovelorn letter (I don't have my
> copy of the text at the moment, but the line I'm thinking of, if I
> rember correctly, is soemthing like "the vortex of the toilet, where it
> eventually did go, might be my own matter of fact contribution. She
> probably begged me to make a special fire to consume it.") If Humbert
> is capable of inserting his own later thought into the text of the
> letter without alerting the reader (or rather, only alerting him after
> the reader's had their snicker at Lotte's expense), one must suppose
> him capable of doing the same to the diary. Furhermore, I think this
gt; would fit in with the stucture of the book as a whole --- I believe
> it's meant to be read twice, the first time as a mystery and the second
> time as a tragedy. For the first time reader, even if they manage to
> figure out quite early on who Lo disappears with, _Lolita_ requires a
> second reading to truly appreciate how early and how often he appaears,
> and how ineveitable Lo's tragedy is. The "loving wife" comment in the
> diary is only one example of VN's genius for inserting slight comments
> and details likely to be passed over or regarded lightly by someone
> reading _Lolita_ for the first time, but whose significance will strike
> the second (or third or fourth or fifth) time reader like a pile of
> bricks --- the list of minor characters and their outcomes in the
> forward is a steller example, as is that half-heard conversation on the
> Enchanted Hunter' porch, when it seems Humbert's paranoia overcomes his
> auditory sk
> ------------------------
> EDITOR's NOTE. Just to throw something extra into the pot...someone
> might want to ponder the implications, if any, of Kinbote's insertions
> into "Pale Fire" and how the narrator of Eugene Onegin translates
> Tatyana's letter from French into Russian.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Donald B. Johnson" 
> Date: Saturday, November 17, 2001 1:58 pm
> Subject: Re: Query: Humbert's Diary (fwd)
> > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> > Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 13:53:25 -0800
> > From: Mark Bennett 
> > I think the most reasonable answer is that at the time HH kept the
> > diary he
> > could not foresee that CH would ever ransack his room looking for
> > "locked up
> > love letters."  He had stopped keeping the diary approximately 5
> > days before
> > CH drove DH to Camp Q, leaving
behind with Louise the letter to HH
> > in which
> > CH both confessed her love for him and presented him with the
> > Hobson' choice
> > (Humbson' choice?) of moving out of 342 Lawn Street or marrying
> > her.  Before
> > these events occurred HH had no reason to believe that he would
> > ever again
> > have a "loving wife" who would find his diary and decipher its
> > "microscopicscript," written in HH's "smallest, most satanic
> > hand."  I think the more
> > important question is why HH didn't immediately remove or destroy
> > the diary
> > as soon CH's indicated to him that she believed the little
> > mahogany table
> > wherein it was hidden contained HH's old love letters. Knowing how
> > "insanelyjealous" CH was of his past, HH should have easily
> > foreseen that she would
> > not rest until she confirmed her suspicion.  Oh well, had HH acted
> > prudently
CH would not have found the diary, she would not have
> > been run down by Fred
> > Beale's Packard, HH would not have become DH's default dad, and so
> > on . . .
> >
> >
> > >Hello,
> >
> > I'm sorry if everyone apart from me knows the answer to this one
> > already,but could someone explain to me why Humbert does not just
> > write his diary in
> > a language Charlotte Haze doesn't understand? 'Obvious
> > abbreviations' at the
> > beginning of I, 11 suggests in some obscure way that he is not too
> > concernedabout being found out...
> >
> > --
> >


Kiran Krishna
3rd yr physics
(Falkiner High Energy Physics)
University of Sydney
NSW 2006


Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest
political end.
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