NABOKV-L post 0000687, Fri, 18 Aug 1995 12:37:56 -0700

Subject
Dorothy and Lolita (fwd)
Date
Body
From: Galya Diment <galya@u.washington.edu>


The August 27, 1955 issue of The New Yorker, while not featuring anything
of Nabokov's, must have been of certain interest to him, assuming he
read it. It had a story by Dorothy Parker about a widowed mother
and a daughter who compete for the love of the same man. The daughter wins out
The daughter's name is Lolita and so is the title of the story.

What would not one give to know precisely what Nabokov thought as he was
reading that story at the time! Did he think it was an uncanny
coincidence or was he suspicious that Dorothy Parker, a good friend of
Edmund Wilson, had somehow learned about his project and was playing a
joke on him?

The story can, in fact, be read as a perfect parody of Nabokov's
yet-to-be-published novel. Far from being "sexy", Parker's Lolita "was of
no color at all... and her hair, so fine that it seemed sparse, grew
straight." The man who is attracted to her is described as an "older" man,
here over thirty; surprisingly enough, they get married and live happily
ever after, much to the consternation of Lolita's mother who wanted her
son-in-law all for herself.

Does anyone know more about that story and the impetus behind it?
Has anyone before made any connection between the story and Nabokov's novel?

Galya Diment