Matt Roth: I have always thought that the coincidence of 342s (Lawn St, hotel room, hotel registries) in Lolita was HH’s invention, so as to make himself seem a pawn of McFate.


Jansy Mello: Matt's interpretation of one of my past postings proves that I formulated it incorrectly ( I wrote about my project to "invite the VN-L participants to offer suggestions about the "fictional facts" that can be considered as unquestionable "fictional truths" in any VN's novel.").  


In the instances cited by Matt we find that a "fictional fact" (a possibly random house number in a random street) has been deftly (a bit too emphatically) transformed into a "fictional truth" (the number in a hotel room), and then, almost quietly, resuscitated as a definite total number of hotel registrations that coincides with the former 342s (in this case it's an uncertain fictional truth with the intention of, for example, "make himself seem a pawn of McFate).



Things are even more complicated than I thought! Great suggestion, Matt.

"In the slow clear hand of crime I wrote: Dr. Edgar H. Humbert and daughter, 342 Lawn Street, Ramsdale. A key (342!) was half-shown to me (magician showing object he is about to palm) — and handed over to Uncle Tom[   ] Parody of a hotel corridor. Parody of silence and death.

"Say, it's our house number," said cheerful Lo.


"I have a memo here: between July 5 and November 18, when I returned to Beardsley for a few days, I registered, if not actually stayed, at 342 hotels, motels and tourist homes. This figure includes a few registrations between Chestnut and Beardsley... and there must have been at least fifty places where I merely inquired at the desk..."



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