NABOKV-L post 0011911, Sat, 17 Sep 2005 19:49:29 -0700

Re: Fwd: Re: Nabokovian blunders
Re Nabokovian 'blunders'

Dear Anthony

In her award-winning biography of Vera Nabokov Stacy Schiff discussed
several uneasy questions relating to Nabokov's account of his early
interactions with the US publishers Viking, Simon and Schuster, New
Directions, Farrar and Straus and Doubleday. Regarding the 'girl/boy'
exchange alluded to by Nabokov in his famous postscript, Schiff concluded:

"None of them (i.e. US publishers) appears in any shape or form to have
suggested the author transform his twelve-year-old into a boy, or Humbert
into a farmer, as Nabokov later claimed." (p. 206)

This ruse was only one of several 'untruths' propagated by Nabokov in "On a
Book Entitled Lolita." Centerwall has paid attention to several other
misleading statements made by VN in his postscript. I have contributed more
comments and observations on this matter in SNLR.

Another dimension to VN's 'gender-bending' strategy involved VN himself
dressing up in anagram guise as Vivian Darkbloom, the silent mistress of
Lolita's early abuser, Clare Quilty. The autobiographical reverberations
attached to this particular cryptic crossword style clue are, I would
suggest, highly significant.

Jo Morgan

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