Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0011711, Tue, 16 Aug 2005 11:40:25 -0700

Fw: First publication date of LOLITA
EDNOTE. Jansy's note below prompts the thought that personal accounts of
first readings of LOLITA might be an appropriate way of celebrating LO's
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jansy Berndt de Souza Mello" <jansy@aetern.us>
To: "don barton johnson" <chtodel@cox.net>
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2005 9:43 AM
Subject: Re: First publication date of LOLITA

> Dear Don,
> Like Van, who celebrates his birthdate as having taken place in July 13
> when
> a piece of stucco fell on his cradle, I prefer to think about the day I
> first read "Lolita".
> I was still in my twenties and wore purple sandals that matched the violet
> color of the binding ( a sort of brick containing Lolita and four other
> novels, namely The Gift, Invitation to a Beheading, King Queen Knave and
> Glory, conjoined to form a "Collins Collector´s Choice").
> A passing friend asked me: "What a thick book. Will you read all the
> words,
> one by one?".
> I don´t think that until then I had never been conscious of reading words
> "one by one", but with Nabokov one cannot drop anyone, even those that are
> not there.
> Jansy
> Cf. ADA,4:
> "I also know that you, and, probably, I, were born, but that does not
> prove
> we went through the chronal phase called the Past: my Present, my brief
> span
> of consciousness, tells me I did, not the silent thunder of the infinite
> unconsciousness proper to my birth fifty-two years and 195 days ago. My
> first recollection goes back to mid-July, 1870, i.e., my seventh month of
> life (with most people, of course, retentive consciousness starts somewhat
> later, at three or four years of age) when, one morning, in our Riviera
> villa, a chunk of green plaster ornament, dislodged from the ceiling by an
> earthquake, crashed into my cradle. The 195 days preceding that event
> being
> indistinguishable from infinite unconsciousness, are not to be included in
> perceptual time, so that, insofar as my mind and my pride of mind are
> concerned, I am today (mid-July, 1922) quite exactly fifty-two, et trêve
> de
> mon style plafond peint.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Donald B. Johnson" <chtodel@gss.ucsb.edu>
> Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2005 1:13 PM
> Subject: First publication date of LOLITA
>> EDNOTE. For those of you who celebrate literary birthdays---the primal
>> publication date for LOLITA (by Olympia Press in Paris) is September 15,
> 1955.
>> Fifty years ago next month.
>> First U.S. edition (Putnam) 21 July 1958