Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000188, Sat, 29 Jan 1994 16:22:44 -0800

VNcollation#2 (fwd)
NABOKV-L subscriber Suellen Stringer-Hye continues her series on Nabokov
references in the media. Once again, my thanks to S. S-H.
The Editor

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 1994 15:41 CST
From: HSS3728@TAMZEUS.bitnet
To: nabokv-l@ucsbvm
Subject: VNcollation#2

1994 is already a good year for Nabokov. He has been mentioned
at least twenty five times in January. Here are some of the

John Updike wrote an article in the January 3, Newsweek
entitled "The '50s: Each Man was an Island. It is a reminiscence
of the 50's in which he says "... the modernist classics--
Eliot and Pound and Joyce and Stevens and Kafka and Proust--
loomed as demigods to undergraduates and bohemians. What decade
since the 20's could show a burst of novels as radiant and
various as Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye and McCuller's Ballad
of the Sad Cafe"(1951), Ellison's "Invisible Man" and O'Connor's
"Wise Blood"(1952), Bellow's "Adventures of Augie March (1953),
Nabokov's "Lolita"(1955), Kerouac's "On the Road" and Malamud's
"Assistant" (1957), Connell's "Mrs. Bridge," Roth's "Goodbye
Columbus and Vonnegut's "Sirens of Titan"(1959), to name but a
few?" Good company or not?

Nabokov's agent, the flamboyant Hollywood Talent Agent
Irving 'Swifty" Lazar died on January 1, 1994. He was 84 years
old. In almost every obituary notice Nabokov's name was amongst
those included in a diverse list of clients-- Cole Porter, Ernest
Hemingway, Truman Capote, Franco Zefirelli, Truman Caapote,
Tennessee Williams...the list goes on and on.
For further discussion of Nabokov's relations with Lazar see
Boyd's, "The American Years".

Lolita, as usual, defied convention this month. Painter
Graham Ovendon whose photographs of nude girls have embroiled him
in a controversy about the difference between art and child
pornography states that "the pervert is the one who puts the fig
leaf on, not the one who takes it off". In the January 2 Sunday
Telegraph Limited profile of Ovendon and his artistic troubles it
says that "Ovenden's art goes one step further than simply
depicting nudity for nudity's sake. He wants to make a point
about child sexuality- and deliberately makes his paintings
sexual. Some of his paintings are of Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov's
"nymphet" from the book of that name such as one from 1973 called
Lolita after the First Lovemaking, which is explicitly sexual..."
Anyone seen these paintings?

Unfortunately, the innocent darling is also required to ooze
in the sludge along with Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafuoco in
"Long Island Lolita", the CBS version of that endearing saga of
violence and sex voted top Junk Food News item of '94 by a group
of news ombudsmen in Canada and the U.S.

And finally, the vast archives of Graham Green's papers are
just beginning to surface and with them a quote from Nabokov,
unable to get Greene on the telephone, "...there is nothing so
sadly silent as that membrane muteness..."

Ah... one might say the same about the absent Nabokov.