NABOKV-L post 0001522, Fri, 6 Dec 1996 10:43:43 -0800

Lolita queries (fwd)
EDITOR'S NOTE. Brian Gross <> uncovered the
passenger list for the SS Champlain which brought the Nabokovs to NY on
28 May 1940. This interesting document with questionaire was run on NABOKV-L
and published in a recent issue of THE NABOKOVIAN.
Steven Barnat <>
asked: > -----------------------------------------
> Might some kind Nabokovians offer snappy interpretations of the
> following trivia? he inquired, scratching head...
> (1) "Still in Parkington. Finally, I did achieve an hour's slumber --
> from which I was aroused by gratuitous and horribly exhausting congress
> with a small hairy hermaphrodite, a total stranger." (Lolita, Vintage,
> 109) Who is this small, hairy hermaphrodite?

I like to think that poor HH managed only an hour of sleep because
Vladimir Nabokov awoke him for this gratuitous congress.

The congress was gratuitous because it was unnecessary for the advancement
of the plot of the novel.

The hermaphrodite was a total stranger to HH because Nabokov had just
created him/her!

Now why the hermaphrodite was small and hairy ...

> (2) "'Our double beds are really triple,' Potts cozily said tucking me
> and my kid in. 'One crowded night we had three ladies and a child like
> yours sleep together. I believe one of the ladies was a disguised man
> [my static].'" (Vintage, 118) What might the porter really have said,
> without Humbert's static?
> --

I like to think that either:

The static was HH's amused reaction to the idea of using a disguise as
a woman in order to sneak into bed with a child.


The static was HH's method to stop the porter from continuing the story.
Perhaps HH had been the disguised man!

Brian Gross