Barrie Karp sends the following reference, spotted in The Spectator:



Jansy Mello:  Great spotting, Barrie! It shows how the general public sees one of VN’s masterpieces and how they judge him under its influence.


I copied the main VN-related sentences:


“Did Chaplin inspire Nabokov to write Lolita? He’d have been a better Humbert Humbert than James Mason. ‘I look bleary-eyed, like a murderer,’ Chaplin exclaimed, seeing a photograph taken at home, when he was out of make-up. His last wife, Oona O’Neill, was 36 years his junior. ‘Part of her always had to be a little girl, Charlie’s little girl.’ It sounds horrific. Oona became an alcoholic and people often witnessed Chaplin ‘in a terrible rage and she’d run into her room and lock the door. He’d try and get her out and it was all hell.’ “

[   ] “His sexual scandals, as revealed in numerous paternity suits, upset morality. In 1952, his re-entry visa to the United States was rescinded, so he moved to a villa in Switzerland. (A neighbour was Vladimir Nabokov, interestingly. Did they meet? There’s a subject for Tom Stoppard.)”


I don’t think Chaplin he’d make a better Humbert Humbert, a character in VN’s novel, since his writings are unique in kind and “Lolita” was his one and only love (despite her various metamorphoses into other girls). The article’s parallels are, in my opinion, rather spectacularly wanton.


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