NABOKV-L post 0003303, Fri, 14 Aug 1998 08:38:28 -0700

Re: Query: Ada's virtue (fwd)
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@UCSBVM.UCSB.EDU>

EDITOR's NOTE. I had raised the question of why Ada, who had hitherto
shown so little regard for others, suddely gives up Van and returns to
Arizona whith her ailing husband Andrey. Malcom Reynolds replies....

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Malcolm R. Reynolds" <>

If I might venture a very naive answer to your question about Ada,
perhaps it's because she needs a respite from the extremely intense
physical and mental encounters that Van imposes on her because of his
highly intelligent, highly physical nature. I think of Lolita and her
desire to get away from HH,
who was obsessive about the physical and pushy, in his European way,
about her mental development. She jumped from one frying pan into a
hotter one. Ada did not. In a barren environment with its own
low-keyed beauty and living with an undemanding husband, she had time to
recoup her energies for future encounters with Van she knew she would

It's been some time since I read _Ada_; it's my least favorite novel of
his works. He pushed the boundaries with this huge, opulent work and I
am not reader or scholar enough to keep up with its phantasmagoric
twists and
turns. My memory of it right now, until I read it again, is not with Van
or Ada, but with Lucette's death. It broke the heart of this
not-so-good reader.

I think he out-Joyced Joyce in it, but I'd still rather read anything
else VN wrote.


Mac Reynolds