Cursed with a succession of tedious faculty meetings, I decided to surreptitiously bide my time exploring one of Lolita’s little riddles. HH, in Chapter 13, mentions a playlet (The Emperor’s New Clothes) by Maurice Vermont and Marion Rumpelmeyer. Appel, in his notes, quotes VN as saying, “I vaguely but persistently feel that both Vermont and Rumpelmeyer exist!” before Appel idly speculates that VN culled the names from a phonebook. All this sounded fishy to me, so down the rabbit hole I went, only to emerge hours later with the following odds and ends:
5. I forget how much money I got for this film, but at Rumpelmayer's with Nabokov, during the final discussions, I had a tuna-fish sandwich and a chocolate milkshake, my standard tranquilizer . . .”
6. St. Moritz is a famous resort in the Swiss Alps.
7. It is named after St. Maurice, the patron saint of weavers and dyers.
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