NABOKV-L post 0025120, Wed, 26 Feb 2014 13:26:01 +0000

Subject
THOUGHTS: Lolita's leaping tailor
Date
Body
In part 1, Chapter 29 of Lolita, Humbert, standing above the sleeping girl, says “For at least two minutes I waited and strained on the brink, like that tailor with his homemade parachute forty years ago when about to jump from the Eiffel Tower” (AnLo 128). Oddly, Appel provides no annotation.

The tailor in question is Franz Reichelt, and his leap was fatal. VN must have seen the newsreel (see link) below, as most of it is taken up with ill-fated Franz standing on the brink. Humbert’s image is lively enough on its own, but I have to say that it takes on a new flavor after one watches the film.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BepyTSzueno

Matt Roth

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