Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0003134, Sat, 23 May 1998 10:49:26 -0700

Re: Query: G.H. Orwell (fwd)
EDITOR's NOTE. I see that my original note I wrote as a
preface to Robert Cook's G. H. Wells query did not go out with his query.
It said that "G.H. Orwell" was presumably a Nabokovian blend of H.G. Wells
and George Orwell as fellow authors of dystopian sci-fi novels.

From: Galya Diment <galya@u.washington.edu>

I am with Charles Nicol on that one: I don't remember whether I had "real"
evidence or not when I became convinced that it is a reference to H.G.
Wells backwards (i.e. whereas Wells is good, Orwell is bad) but I am
pretty sure that that's the case. A bit juvenile, perhaps, as a joke
(and lost on many) but also very Nabokovian. Galya Diment

On Sat, 23 May 1998, Donald Barton Johnson wrote:

> > >From Robert Cook, University of Iceland
> >
> > Query: Why does VN refer to George Orwell as "G. H. Orwell" in the Foreword
> > to Invitation to a Beheading? As far as I can see from checking books and
> > bibliographies, Orwell always went by the name "George Orwell," with no
> > middle initial.
> --------------------------------------------
> From: Anatoly Vorobey <mellon@pobox.com>
> Well, 'George Orwell' couldn't have a middle name, being a pseudonym.
> One version which I recall reading is that it's a hidden reference
> to either G.H.Lawrence or H.G.Wells, whose names are usually written
> with initials. I don't think that's particularly convincing, unless
> there's more evidence.
> --
> Anatoly Vorobey,
> mellon@pobox.com http://pobox.com/~mellon/
> "Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly" - G.K.Chesterton