Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0005143, Sun, 4 Jun 2000 18:23:14 -0700

Lolita Questions
***Could someone please answer the following questions submitted to the
list by a new Nabokv_L subscriber? Please respond directly to Mr. Thompson
at the address below.***

From: thompson <thompson@deltafarms.com>

I've read several of Nabokov's books ... Lolita several times, and these
are a few questions or items that I do not understand. I'm no scholar --
just a guy who wants to know more about Lolita. I've searched the
archives and can't find the answer to many of these questions.

I'm new to this list.


1. Was H.H.'s affair with Dolly real or imagined?

2. Was H.H. impotent? The suggestion was made many times in the novel --
especially before they reached the ENCHANTED HUNTERS INN.

3. Why was H.H. in custody of the police while writing the novel? Was his
crime rape or murder? Is the dependency of Lolita on H.H. near the end real
or imagined?

4. Was H.H. ever right in evaulating anything or anyone in the novel? It
seems that everything he tells us is imagined, not real.

5. Is the incarnation of Annabel into Lolita permanent?

6. Who was the man in the background when H.H. is accosted by the drunkard
on the patio after his arrival at the ENCHANTED HUNTERS INN?

7. Is the name Annabel in reference to another literary character?

8. Nabokov goes to great pains not to compare his work to Dostoevskij. Is
this for religious differences or does he not like being compared to Old
Dusty on the grounds of proving himself?

9. H.H. reveals his double like Raskolnikov before him when he leaves money
with Lolita. (Raskolnikov leaves money on the window seal for Sonya's
mother and other members of the family)

10. Sonya reveals the Grace of God to Raskolnikov -- Lolita first brings
Annabel to life for H.H. then takes it away. Is this contrast Christian
emperialism against Jewish tradgedy?