Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0004497, Mon, 18 Oct 1999 11:03:29 -0700

Re: VN Filmography: "American Beauty" (fwd)
EDITOR's NOTE. Does anyone know how to get in touch with Alan Ball
mentioned below. He could answer all this tantalizing speculation.
From: Aline & Alexander Drescher <drescher@bcn.net>

To Dana Dragunoiu's point: playing with the wind. The image occurs
with both Ricky's and Lester's voice over. Both passages are familiar
and suggest that writer/producer Alan Ball has read carefully Brian
Boyd's essay, "Nabokov the Writer", CH 13, The American Years.
Supporting this would be the film's attention to doublings, mirrorings,
multiple points of viewing; and memory and attended detail as a
connections to a transcendent world.

Alexander Drescher [amateur]

Donald Barton Johnson wrote:

> From: Dana Dragunoiu <ddraguno@chass.utoronto.ca>
> Dear Galya and List Members:
> A more covert reference to VN and his work in *American
> Beauty* was (perhaps) being made during the sequence
> when Ricky is showing Jane his favourite cinematic moment:
> the bag being "played with" by the wind, which Ricky
> identifies as a benevolent force behind all visible existence.
> My guess would be that the screenplay writer makes a direct
> reference to *Lolita* (via "Angela Hayes") in order to signal
> a wider, more subtle and generous relationship with VN and
> his outlook. VN has often shown us the "beauty" that is often
> hidden or travestied by vulgarians, money-grubbers, and the like,
> which is precisely the governing idea in *American Beauty*.
> Dana Dragunoiu