NABOKV-L post 0005326, Mon, 10 Jul 2000 12:22:32 -0700

Re: [Yikes! (Sue Lyon's Birthday) (fwd)] (fwd)
From: Thomas E.Braun <>

Mr. Sampson is right that Sue Lyon is no longer a nymphet, and never was.
Anyone familiar with Kubrick's work knows that he often took very excellent
and provocative books and turned them into something quite different on
screen. He got away with this for the most part because he was such a great
artist in his own right; but it explains why his 1962 "Lolita," a fine film,
is not really Nabokov's novel on screen. Rather than the agonized rapture of
trying to recapture (in utter futility) what has been lost forever with the
passage of time -- which is the overriding theme of the book -- Kubrick's film
seems more intent on satirizing how the adults of the post-World War II world
-- the reasonably normal Charlotte Haze, the twisted Clare Quilty, the
decaying European aesthete Humbert -- deal with the brooding, spoiled,
malteds-and-rock-music nymphet that is adolescent America, quite beyond the
control or comprehension of any of the adults. In this, the Kubrick film
succeeds for the most part, but in many vital ways is NOT the novel that
Nabokov wrote. For that reason, Sue Lyon is not, and never was, the nymphet,
the elusive butterfly, the CHILD that Nabokov put into his book. In fact, if
you compare the Lolita that Sue protrayed with the character in the book, it
provides a good model of how Kubrick liked to transform novels onto film.
Anyway, happy birthday, Sue!

Tom Braun
Los Angeles, California

Galya Diment <> wrote:
> From: Earl Sampson <>
> I see from Excite's Birthdays for July 10 that Sue Lyon is 54 today. No
> longer a nymphet, I guess (if she ever was).

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