Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0003400, Wed, 30 Sep 1998 11:59:41 -0700

Re: VN & Sentiment & Lolita (fwd) -Reply (fwd)
Thomas Bolt's recent note on Lolita is filled with good things. It is a
fault of both camps that they tend to see the novel in relation to their
own preoccupations. It makes sense (of course it does) to talk of the many
and contradictory aspects of the book, especially in relation to HH. Since
Mr. Bolt invokes Boolean logic (quite aptly) in his introductory remarks,
it might be in order to mention Ramsey theory as well, a division of
mathematics concerned with relationships that arise inevitably among
objects, solely owing to their numeric size and distribution. In a novel
like this, with its subtle characterization and structural elaborateness,
it is not surprising when cross-relations emerge between its elements. N.
writes about paedophilia and exploitation, whether or not he had much
interest in either, and in the course of doing so the features Mr. Bolt
notices emerge. It's not so much a question of limiting one's reading to
what the author intends, but rather in drawing a line around that plus
what can convincingly be inferred from the structure he has created. This
may result in a large set (to continue the metaphor), but its contents
can, I think, be claimed as legitimate objects of study.


Wayne Daniels
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