NABOKV-L post 0011790, Wed, 7 Sep 2005 20:39:30 -0700

Re: Fwd: Re: Response re Jo Morgan re Michael Maar's evidence on
the Lolita/Lichberg issue.
(I am resubmitting this message, which I posted a few days back, as it has
not yet appeared on the Nabokv-L)

"Re the comments made by Andrew Brown about how the idea of VN encrypting
his incestuous abuse by Uncle Ruka could only have been arrived at from
within "the woolly world of academia"

I did not invent the concept of a Nabokovian 'blunder' - Nabokov himself
did. During one interview he admitted to planting three 'blunders' in Ada
(see Strong Opinions, p. 285). Also in the commentary he added to Eugene
Onegin (vol. 1, p. 15-16) the author stated: "Even obvious misprints should
be treated gingerly; after all, they may be supposed to have been left
uncorrected by the author."

Nabokov also owned up to developing an encrypting system within the
mysterious foreword he added to his 'fictional novel' Bend Sinister (1947).
There he wrote "someone is in the know - a mysterious intruder who takes
advanted of Krug's dream to convey his own peculiar code message. The
intruder is not the Viennese Quack (all my books should be stamped
Freudians, Keep Out), but an antropomorphic deity impersonated by me" (BS,

During Nabokov's lifetime virtually no acknowledgement was made of the fact
that boys too could be victims of incestuous abuse - or that their abusers
could be adult men. Instead Freud's fantasy addled theories of incest
reigned supreme and were widely used by generations of psychiatrists to
discredit attempts made by children and adult survivors to disclose their
incestuous abuse ( for further information see Nathan Hale's book Why Freud
was Wrong (1995). Nabokov utterly despised Sigmund Freud and the
psychiatric profession. In Lolita he states the only difference btw 'the
rapist' and the 'therapist' is a matter of spacing. One of the arguments
put in my book is that Nabokov developed his code of deliberate "Freudian
slips" or 'blunders' in order to pull Freud off his (undeserved) throne.

Nabokov's incestuous enslavement by Ruka went far beyond the
simple 'fondling' he wrote about in Speak, Memory. The seriousness of
Vladimir's abuse is divulged in his other grossly misunderstood 'fictional
novel' Bend Sinister (1947) where an 8 year old boy named David is admitted
to an Institute for Abnormal Children and sexually tortured. In Solving
Nabokov's Lolita Riddle I have argued that the mischievous (and to date
undeciphered) anagram game Nabokov plays around the name of his central
male protagonist Adam Krug (Gumakrad, Dramaguk) begs the solution 'mad
Ruka'. This unorthodox anagram game was later cleverly linked by Nabokov to
Humbert's prevaricating discussion about how he should sign in at The
Enchanted Hunters Hotel.

"What should I put: Humbert and daughter? Humberg and small child? Homberg
and immature girl? Homburg and child? The droll mistake - the 'g' at the
end - which eventually comes through may have a telepathic echo of these
hesitations of mine." (In my edition of Lolita the quote is found on page

Note once again the gender ambiguity that creeps in around
Humbert's 'twofold' nymphet. This duplicitous cryptic crossword style game
explains why Nabokov described Lolita as a puzzle during his 1964 interview
with Alvin Toffler.

I am happy to continue discussing this highly contentious issue with
contributors to the Nabokv-L. But could I say, that having had the courtesy
to read much of the literary scholarship devoted to Nabokov, I hope that
fans and scholars will reciprocate in kind and actually read my book -
rather than dismiss it out of hand."

Jo Morgan

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