De: Jansy Mello []
Enviada em: quarta-feira, 23 de abril de 2014 17:25
Para: 'Vladimir Nabokov Forum'
Assunto: RES: [NABOKV-L] SIGHTING: Charlie Chaplin and Humbert in LO



Good comments, Frances. Nevertheless, don’t you think that even “stupid reviews” (or, “spectacularly wanton” ones, as I described it) deserve a space for discussion in the VN-L when their subject relates to Nabokov and may serve to open new inroads concerning Nabokov, such as Stadlen’s  relating 342 takes to the number 342 in the novel Lolita? Or the coincidence about the “violet” theme?

Isn’t that what criticism is about, at least in part? ( I mean, finding positive and negative points that help readers discern better  whatever it is they are reading).


Returning to the “violets” (viola/viol/vial/phial and… fialka?) in the posting where I quoted from Ada (related to her “violarium”) I forgot to add the concluding lines that mention Dr. Krolik’s death (he died intestate) since the three quotes begin with violets and end with references to death.  Brian’s relation of violets and larvae in ADA to John Shade’s lines about IPH [“Iph / Was a larvorium and a violet, / A grave in Reason’s early spring.” (52, ll. 515-17) ] added a fundamental connection not only concerning those two novels, but his short-stories too.


I found the Russian word “fialka” in Aliko Nakata’s article and another entry deserving investigation: violets and women ( mothers and adulterous wives):

“Fialta, an Adriatic resort whose name is a blend of Fiume and Yalta (Boyd Russian Yeas, 426), is associated with violets via fialka, the Russian word for violet (Lee 33, Parker 131). The first association of Fialta with violets occurs near the beginning of the story: "I am fond of Fialta […] because I feel in the hollow of those violaceous syllables the sweet dark dampness of the most rumpled of small flowers, and because the altolike name of a lovely Crimean town is echoed by its viola" (413, italics added). The adjectives "dark" and "small," used here to describe violets, are also used elsewhere to describe Nina: "I still wonder what exactly she meant to me, that small dark woman of the narrow shoulders and 'lyrical limbs' " (423).  A Failed Reader Redeemed: "Spring in Fialta" and The Real Life of Sebastian Knight Akiko Nakata, Nagoya, Japan. Nabokov Studies, 11, 2007/2008.






De: Vladimir Nabokov Forum [mailto:NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU] Em nome de frances assa
Enviada em: quarta-feira, 23 de abril de 2014 11:34
Assunto: Re: [NABOKV-L] SIGHTING: Charlie Chaplin and Humbert in LO


Well said, Walter. Chaplin was all those things.  However the person posting the stupid "review" is not necessarily accountable for its content.

Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:10:32 -0400
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] SIGHTING: Charlie Chaplin and Humbert in LO


Charlie Chaplin was a suspicious and angry man. His hubris had no limits, nor his interest in young women. Did he inspire Nabokov's Lolita?... more»



This gossip, snark, and psycho analysis on the Nabokov forum, of all places? And "obsessive-compulsive disorder"?  Really......


Does anyone here remember Charlie Chaplin? The artist and the grandeur and the conscience.......  


The raison d'etre of his work was not only aesthetic bliss but justice; and for justice he sacrificed both wealth and home.


Walter Miale





De: Vladimir Nabokov Forum [mailto:NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU] Em nome de Jansy Mello
Enviada em: terça-feira, 22 de abril de 2014 12:59
Assunto: [NABOKV-L] RES: [NABOKV-L] SIGHTING: Charlie Chaplin and Humbert in LO



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 would 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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