NABOKV-L post 0012082, Fri, 18 Nov 2005 07:50:06 -0800

Re: Fwd: HH's age
Dear Don and List

When I first read Lolita I was half again as old as Lo, and HH was twice
my age; I had him firmly pegged as a dirty old man, two years older than
my father.

In Alison Lurie's "Foreign Affairs" the fifty-something heroine muses on
the ages of fictional characters. To be a principal you must be young; in
literature there are no heroes or heroines aged 35-plus. Anything older
than that is a a perry, a walk-on, a supporting role, a character part.
The cruellest stage review I ever read was by Beryl Bainbridge -- no
spring chicken herself -- who wrote that Maggie Smith was "too old to be
considered female".

Does VN consistently break the "ageist" tradition in fiction? I can think
straight away of my good friend John Shade.


Tom (Rymour)

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