NABOKV-L post 0003426, Wed, 14 Oct 1998 11:06:15 -0700

Re: DN's Legal Challenge (fwd)
EDITOR's NOTE. Juan Martinez's thoughtful remarks below (and merited
praise of Don Harington's _Ekaterina--which may be sampled on
ZEMBLA) prompted me to recall A.M. Homes _The End of Alice_ which was
discussed rather extensively on NABOKV-L starting in March 1996, and the
1985 (?) Russian novel _Astrophobia_ (title of English translation) by
Sasha Sokolov. Sokolov's novel, like Harington's is a fine example of the
creative use of an Ur-text as opposed to Homes' novel. I have not read Ms.
Pera's novel (and may not).

Juan Martinez

Poor Lo. Ms. Pera's book sounds cheap and distasteful and boring. The
lawsuit did bring to mind, however, the very heavy and clearly marked line
between good, funny homages and mad Kinbotian kid-nappings.

Namely, I got me thinking about Mr. Harington's wonderful _Ekaterina_. It
is everything the Pera novel isn't -- by which I mean a lot of things, but
mostly that the book exerts a life of its own, a fictional world wholly
independent of _Lolita_ but made a little richer (and certainly funnier)
because of it. _Ekaterina_ isn't gimmicky. It doesn't cash in on its
Lo-ish associations. On a very basic level, _E._ could be read as a
parody of _Lo._, but even if taken as such we see the real, actual
meanings of what Pera asserts: specially the so-called "reversal" she
speaks of. Namely, while touching on the touchiest of _Lo._'s themes, and
while doing so with obvious markers and recognitions of _Lo._ -- but all
of it is done without relying on Nabokov's book as springboard: Lolita is
mentioned as a book, not as an actual girl; we're not promised or given a
"dirtier" version of the book; mostly, we're not given a different
_Lolita_ -- we're given a different (and wonderful) book.



"Baje del monte y me vine al mar..."
Joan Manuel Serrat