NABOKV-L post 0024766, Mon, 4 Nov 2013 20:21:48 -0800

Subject
Re: the Real Question regarding Humbert's Innocence
Date
Body
Bullets? fingerprints? this is the divine Edgar's realm, not Sherlock's (surely).
Caroly


________________________________
From: Anthony Stadlen <STADLEN@AOL.COM>
To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
Sent: Monday, November 4, 2013 5:05 PM
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] the Real Question regarding Humbert's Innocence



Dear Carolyn,
 
That is beautiful, and indeed a good joke. But the "innocent until
proved guilty" principle is a matter for the winged members of the jury. I
should have thought that the police's investigation of bullets and fingerprints
would settle that. We are not ourselves the jury, or even in court. We
are, I hope, good readers and re-readers; so is it not the "reliable until
proved unreliable" principle that should be paramount for us?
 
Anthony
 
Anthony
Stadlen
"Oakleigh"
2A Alexandra Avenue
GB - London N22
7XE
Tel.: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857
For Existential Psychotherapy and
Inner Circle Seminars see:
http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/


 
In a message dated 04/11/2013 23:52:15 GMT Standard Time,
chaiselongue@ATT.NET writes:
Dear Anthony,
>
>
>So it would seem that two important principles are at loggerheads here. One assumes the narrative is reliable until proven otherwise, as you so appropriately put it, and the accused is innocent until proven Quilty, shall we say? A rawther Nabokovian jest perhaps?
>
>
>Carolyn
>
>
>
>________________________________
> From: Anthony Stadlen <STADLEN@AOL.COM>
>To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
>Sent: Sunday, November 3, 2013 3:43 PM
>Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] the Real Question regarding Humbert's Innocence
>
>
>
>Dear Carolyn, Jansy and the List,

>I am glad that Carolyn recognises the validity of my assertion that Judaism does not have Original Sin, which is an invention of Paul and Augustine.

>I have certainly raised the question of Humbert's unreliable narration, for example with his miscalculation of 56 days when it should be 52 near the end of the book, and with his placing of the sound of children's voices on the hillside (no doubt a "true" episode in itself) as a ploy (as Brian Boyd has also pointed out). But just as with, say, "Signs and Symbols" or Despair or Pale Fire, so with Lolita the good re-reader is going to have to reach some kind of working hypothesis as to which parts of the curate's egg of the narration are more or less reliable and which are not. And there has to be some kind of logic to this. Otherwise anything goes, and it all stops being interesting, because it has lost the artistic and moral tension between reliable and unreliable. Surely, the justification for imputing unreliability is that the story becomes vague, shifting and contradictory -- exactly the same logic as with a witness in court. One
assumes the narrative is reliable until proven otherwise. If one starts by assuming total unreliability, then anything may mean anything, and one may attribute any meaning whatever without any discipline for checking one's attribution.

>Anthony


>Anthony Stadlen
>"Oakleigh"
>2A Alexandra Avenue
>GB - London N22
7XE
>Tel.: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857
>For Existential Psychotherapy and Inner Circle Seminars see:
>http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/
>
>

>In a message dated 03/11/2013 22:37:41 GMT Standard Time, chaiselongue@ATT.NET writes:
>Dear Jansy and the List,
>>
>>
>>The concept of original sin post-dates Judaism. We are currently reading Genesis (another pair of murderous twins have just been born) and it seems to me that disobedience only (i.e. not hubris) is closer to what Adam and Eve did and for which they were punished with mortality. 
>>
>>
>>In regards to Humbert's guilt or innocence, I personally lean toward innocence partly because there has been no trial, and except in Wonderland, the trial usually precedes the verdict. But what I think is the most important question raised has so far not been addressed by the List, to wit, is Humbert a reliable narrator, which those who condemn him must accept at least to some degree, and if so, can someone please give me another example from Nabokov's oeuvre?
>>
>>
>>That is the real question.
>>
>>
>>Carolyn
>>
>>
>>p.s. I am a very lackadaisical Nabokovian and have not read most of the novels, so this is a serious, not a rhetorical, question.
>>
>>
>>
>>________________________________
>> From: Jansy Mello <jansy.nabokv-L@AETERN.US>
>>To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
>>Sent: Sunday, November 3, 2013 3:03 AM
>>Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] An Exchange on Humbert's Innocence
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>A. Stadlen's arguments about HH and Humpty Dumpty humoristically indicate that  "Humbert's fall, like Humpty's, like Finnegan's, is the Fall of Mankind. But the Fall is a Christian notion. Judaism does not have Original Sin [    ] "Lolita" may have no moral in tow, but this is because it itself is the pilot not the piloted, being moral through and through, the paradigmatic moral and negative-theological discourse of our age. Disprove that! It's a possible hypothesis.." However, part of his assertions seem to mingle informations derived from common-sense reality and established dogmas, with those that are purely fictional (a very Nabokovian trait) - like the philosophical implications related to "the Fall." (I always thought that biblical Adam's and Eve's disobedience and hybris, later imaged in Lucifer's fall, were related to the theory of the Original Sin and were still valid for Christians and for Jews.) 
>> 
>>Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to bring up an instance from "Pale Fire" (CK's note to line 549) in which we find Shade and Nabokov discussing sin, in the context of "obsolete terminology." 
>>shade: All the seven deadly sins are peccadilloes but without three of them, Pride, Lust and Sloth, poetry might never have been born.
>>kinbote: Is it fair to base objections upon obsolete terminology?
>>shade: All religions are based upon obsolete terminology.
>>kinbote: What we term Original Sin can never grow obsolete.
>>shade: I know nothing about that. In fact when I was small I thought it meant Cain killing Abel. Personally, I am with the old snuff-takers: L’homme est né bon.
>>kinbote: Yet disobeying the Divine Will is a fundamental definition of Sin.
>>shade: I cannot disobey something which I do not know and the reality of which I have the right to deny.
>>kinbote: Tut-tut. Do you also deny that there are sins?
>>shade: I can name only two: murder, and the deliberate infliction of pain.
>> 
>> 
>>Nowadays words like "honor" and "dignity" like "sin" seem to be losing their former impact. Would they be obsolete, too, in John Shade's eyes? (V.Nabokov, elsewhere,* mentions "a norm," not sin or morality).
>> 
>>I agree with A.Stadlen's and J.Aisenberg's ideas, following J.A's quotes from "Lolita,"about HH having made up the information concerning the paternity of Lolita. (there are many other discrepancies in the plot related to
it).  
>>
>>..................................................................................................................................................
>>* For Nabokov “a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss” (Lolita, Afterword, page 314), described as "a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness) is the norm
>>Google Search the archive Contact the Editors Visit "Nabokov Online Journal" Visit Zembla View Nabokv-L Policies Manage subscription options Visit AdaOnline View NSJ Ada Annotations Temporary L-Soft Search the archive
>>All private editorial communications are read by both co-editors.
>>
>>
>>Google Search the archive Contact the Editors Visit "Nabokov Online Journal" Visit Zembla View Nabokv-L Policies Manage subscription options Visit AdaOnline View NSJ Ada Annotations Temporary L-Soft Search the archive
>>All private editorial communications are read by both co-editors.
>Google Search the archive Contact the Editors Visit "Nabokov Online Journal" Visit Zembla View Nabokv-L Policies Manage subscription options Visit AdaOnline View NSJ Ada Annotations Temporary L-Soft Search the archive
>All private editorial communications are read by both co-editors.
>
>
>Google Search the archive Contact the Editors Visit "Nabokov Online Journal" Visit Zembla View Nabokv-L Policies Manage subscription options Visit AdaOnline View NSJ Ada Annotations Temporary L-Soft Search the archive
> All private editorial communications are read by both co-editors.
Google Search the archive Contact the Editors Visit "Nabokov Online Journal" Visit Zembla View Nabokv-L Policies Manage subscription options Visit AdaOnline View NSJ Ada Annotations Temporary L-Soft Search the archive
All private editorial communications are
read by both co-editors.

Search archive with Google:
http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&HL=en

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com

Manage subscription options: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/