Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0002299, Mon, 25 Aug 1997 10:37:19 -0700

apes, zoos & Lolita

> I have not rechecked and may be wrong, but it is my hazy
>recollection that Dieter Zimmer's investigation of the sources for the
>ape in the zoo story did not turn up a newspaper source.

RJ: Maybe there's no reason why they should? I have *always* regarded
VN's 'explantion' as a tongue-in-cheek invention designed to placate gullible
interviewers or 'researchers'.

The period of original publication was also one in which it wouldn't
have been easy to publicly admit a simple interest in the subject
of middle age men who have sex with under-age girls.

... and he certainly was interested in the subject - having already
written 'The Enchanter'.
Roy Johnson
DBJ response. Actually, VN's drawing zoo ape news story predates _The
Enchanter_ according to his LOLITA postscript. The most thorough
examination of Nabokov's "news story" is in Dieter Zimmer's note (p. 640)
in his beautiful 1995 Winkler edition of LOLITA (in German). The notes and
editorial information in this edition make it much superior to Alfred
Appel's pioneering but now dated _Annotated Lolita_.