NABOKV-L post 0011950, Wed, 21 Sep 2005 11:04:18 -0700

Re: Fwd: Re: Nabokovian blunders
Dear Jo Morgan,

It's a minor point, but worth making: Anthony Stadlen hasn't missed
anything. He's just asking for a more historically sound explanation. The
Stacey Schiff "conclusion" is a conclusion about appearances only. It is not
a claim to hard fact. As you quoted her: "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). How can you turn that sentence into a definitive
conclusion? Schiff is only saying that none of those publishers remembered
saying such a thing--when she interviewed them in the late 1990s.

It seems perfectly plausible that one of those publishers could have made
such a remark in jest in the early fifties--and then forgotten it FORTY
YEARS LATER. It also seems quite plausible that Nabokov could have made it
up. But you know what? We don't know. And even if Roger Straus and James
Laughlin were still alive, they wouldn't know either. It is possible to
state that Nabokov may have invented the remark, but it is not possible to
state that he definitely did so.

Pedantically yours,
Mike Donohue

2px solid; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px'><font
style='FONT-SIZE:11px;FONT-FAMILY:tahoma,sans-serif'><hr color=#A0C6E5
From: <i>&quot;Donald B. Johnson&quot;
&lt;;</i><br>Reply-To: <i>Vladimir Nabokov Forum
<i>NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU</i><br>Subject: <i>Re: Fwd: Re: Nabokovian
blunders</i><br>Date: <i>Tue, 20 Sep 2005 19:58:19 -0700</i><br>&gt;Dear
Anthony<br>&gt;<br>&gt;Please look again, I did respond to your earlier
query re Nabokov's<br>&gt;statement over the boy/girl swop. I agree with you
that it would have been<br>&gt;an incredibly strange request for any US
publisher to have made back in the<br>&gt;1950s. As it was, Lolita barely
found a publisher with Nabokov's twofold<br>&gt;nymphet playing the starring
role.<br>&gt;<br>&gt;Jo Morgan<br>&gt;Sydney<br>&gt;<br>&gt;----- End
forwarded message -----<br></font></BLOCKQUOTE>

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