Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0008988, Sat, 6 Dec 2003 08:57:08 -0800

Fw: Fw: my first time
my first timeEDNOTE. Abdellah Bouazza of The Nethrlands has been a NABOKV-Lsubscriber and contributor since 1994.

----- Original Message -----
From: A. Bouazza
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Sent: Saturday, December 06, 2003 2:37 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: my first time

The year 1984, I was 18: I read The Eye, because we used to receive unsolicited brochures from a book club advertising besides Harold Robbins and his ilk VN's LOLITA. So I remembered the writer's name and looked him up in the local library; but I wanted first to read something "small"; that's why I decided upon The Eye. I was struck and somewhat puzzled by the foreword -this was a writer claiming to have no social interests or messages...! Later on in the same year as the summer vacation was nearing I borrowed Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov and LOLITA (how ironic fate can be!)from the same library. Since Dostoevsky was the more serious stuff I started reading it. Suffice to say that I have never read anything by this writer since that first terrible reading experience.
After Karamazov I read another writer (Alice Hoffman) before setting my teeth into LOLITA. I read it in three enthralled exhilarating days, interrupted by brief intermissions to play badminton with my little sister.
I am still rereading VN.

A. Bouazza.
----- Original Message -----
From: D. Barton Johnson
Sent: Saturday, December 06, 2003 2:42 AM
Subject: Fw: my first time

----- Original Message -----
From: Carolyn Kunin
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Sent: Friday, December 05, 2003 11:57 AM
Subject: my first time

Imagine -- the very middle of the '60s and I'm stuck in high school. But once a week a radio program ('the Radio Free University of the Air' I think it was called) used to keep me from insanity. One evening I was introduced to Pnin -- love at first hearing. The next morning I had to explain to my family what was so funny that I was laughing out loud at one o'clock in the morning. I think it was Pnin driving a car, or perhaps Pnin enjoying his laundry.

I quickly progressed to Lolita and was lost to any other American contemporary writer.

EDNOTE. I can't recall for sure but I think my first time was LOlita in the late fifties. I recall buying my father a birthday _Pnin_ since Pnin reminded me of my first Russian teacher--a volume I later inherited. My father always wrote the date at the end of any book he read, so that was December 1957. The third was _Invitation to a Beaheading_ which, after LOLITA, I found disappointing although, many years later, I found it to be technically far more glittering than LO.