NABOKV-L post 0012075, Thu, 17 Nov 2005 17:07:53 -0800

Fwd: Re: daily telegraph review of maar's "Two Lolitas"
EDNOTE. I too have often pondered this question.
I can understand why teenagers and college students (to whom I have taught the
novel) take HH as middle-aged. (Cf. Einstein's theory of relativity.) When I
would ask a class HH's age, the answer was usually absurdly high--showing, if
nothing else, that they were inattentive readers.
Being now twice HH's age, 36-37 seems to me to be barely beyond adolescence.

----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2005 19:48:12 EST
Subject: Re: daily telegraph review of maar

In a message dated 17/11/2005 18:58:32 GMT Standard Time, writes:

> in particular, Lolita, the story of a middle-aged émigré scholar (again)
> with a desperate passion for a 12-year-old American girl.

Why is HH always described as middle-aged? He was born in 1910 and met the
12-year-old Lolita in 1947.

The same happens with Herr K. in Freud's "Dora" case, which I recently
compared with "Lolita" in my anniversary seminar (100 years for "Dora", 50 for
"Lolita"). Freud does not give K.'s age (my historical research shows that he
Dora were almost the same ages as HH and Lolita at the first molesting). But
readers always assume, wrongly, and quite without evidence from Freud or
elsewhere, that K. was "middle-aged", rather than his actual age of 35 or 36.

Is it somehow a little safer to think of these men as middle-aged, rather
than, presumably, in the prime of sexual life?

Anthony Stadlen

----- End forwarded message -----