Sandy Klein:Reader Reviews: http://www.whatsonstage.com/reviews/theatre/london/E8831252398544/Lolita.html "...
The teenage nymphet doesn’t appear in Brian Cox’s two-hour monologue, but
she’s clearly a girl best avoided: selfish, mendacious, manipulative. It’s
one of the really clever things in Cox’s performance as Humbert Humbert in
Richard Nelson’s faithful distillation – every single word is Nabokov’s – that
Lolita comes across as a spoilt, irritating little hussy; it adds poignancy to
the fate of this flabby, helpless old man smitten with lust for a 12-year-old,
sitting in his prison cell, awaiting trial for murder."
JM: Flabby, helpless old man? I always
thought Humbert was in his forties.
Besides, what we get (from a selection that offers "every single
word" as Nabokov's) excludes the lines where Humbert Humbert demonstrates
some awareness about how "common" Lolita is, while he wonders about the
distortions that result from "being in love."
In his lectures on English Lit., focusing on Proust, Nabokov expresses a
similar quandary concerning Swann and "common" Odette. In a way,
HH and VN indicate that to suffer under "nymphet love" is as
unreal as any other kind of ("normal") passionate
Juan Martinez offers a "sighting": "... He had advised
her as to what to read and had not hesitated to say when he thought she was not
ready for a book yet. Beckett, for instance, he had kept from her for a long
while and Nabokov ..." ( Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader)-- http://fulmerford.com
JM: Once more Beckett and Nabokov are mentioned together!
A curious thing, despite their shared multilingual talents ( where do Conrad,
Joyce and a multitude of modern writers enter?).