Lolitas, Vladimir Nabokov

au sujet de Vladimir Nabokov dont j’ai écrit des billets en octobre 2014, merci beaucoup à zv222, pour le lien ci-présent  et pour son commentaire intéressant.Bonne journée à tout le monde.

source: , un extrait

his already old novel (1955!) has made its way to the pantheon of the world most celebrated literature, despite its controversial nature, and continues to draw the attention of a constant number of readers throughout the world.

The prose of Vladimir Nabokov alone is enough to fall under the spell of his witty text, but The charm of the novel is decupled by the amount of cultural references, symbolic images and let’s not forget its humour! Also, Nabokov, as he admitted, gave the promise of a riddle-game left for the benefit of the deserving reader. Lolita’s riddle.

How many new readers realize the richness of what they have between their hands? Nabokov’s sophisticated playful mind left enough dark matter for curious minds to ponder and delve into it sixty years later.

We would think that such a scrutinized book would have gave up its soul long ago, but we would be wrong. Secrets still lie within shadows hidden betwen the lines. Despite the cleverness and thickness of literary references of Alfred Appel’s « The Annotated Lolita », one can’t help thinking something’s missing. Some recurring (and sometimes almost out of place) elements in the book seem to beg for attention, and yet they’re left ignored and mute with their untold secrets.

Here’s a big part of what I have gathered (minus tens of little things of lesser importance that I found but didn’t care to add). the work of collection of the references is at his minimum too. There are even references behind references, so I’ll let that aside for such a sketchy attempt.

Nabokov as he admitted it, has hidden a riddle-game left for the benefit of the deserving reader. Lolita’s riddle.

In an interview in 1962 for the BBC when aked on why he wrote “Lolita”: “(…) I’ve no general ideas to exploit, I just like composing riddles with elegant solutions.”. Two years later, in an interview with Playboy in 1964, about the writing of « Lolita », he confessed « She was like the composition of a beautiful puzzle – its composition and its solution at the same time, since one is mirror view of the other, depending on the way you look. ».

The basic core of the riddle is now, I believe, mostly solved (at a superficial level, as there are still much to say about it. And there is also still MUCH to discover. It’s still a raw sketch in a way) and I propose to my reader to take a trip in the depth of « Lolita », a novel that you had read without knowing that there was a « phantom chapter », only deciphered by a careful scrutiny of the text, allowing to reach a second level of reading.

In order to say that we resolved Lolita’s riddle we have to find a solution that addresses efficiently all the persistent references and mysterious recurring elements (numbers and words). And of course, it must work in every instances.

In order to lead us to his intended hidden goal, Nabokov has « sprinkled » his text with hints hidden in « plain sight ». The solution of the puzzle has to be reached by collecting all the specific references left by the author. The similar nature of these references won’t leave any room for doubts and the possibility of a conjonction of coincidences will be safely discarded.

There are direct references, but there are also sometimes references behind references, and cross-references all pointing directly or indirectly to the same direction.

These hints, left by Nabokov, are basically « tags » which are either recurring dates or recurring words. These dates and words can be rattached to a specific context that we recognize as  omnipresent when we have indetified it.

Once this context is identified, the key is known.

Every time you use the key (the sesame to a subjacent level of reading) in a textual keyhole (there are moments in the text when there are salliant mentions: a strange book title, a weird lastname or any sort of incongruity – this is Nabokov nudging and winking to you), it opens and more is to be seen, confirming each time even more that the puzzle has been solved.

In fact the key can basically be reduced to one name. One person. With this name, all the rest follows.

And when we know this key, we realize that the solution of the riddle had been ostensibly agitated by Humbert (Or more exactly Vladimir Nabokov) right in front of our unsuspecting eyes.

This key « with its numbered dangler of carved wood », bearing the number 342.

I shall not exist if you do not imagine me

The beginning of the story is set on La Côte d’Azur (more precisely, probably Monaco – a principality by the sea). This latter allusion is made in reference to Egar Allan Poe’s (1809-1849) poem « Annabel Lee », and indeed, the beginning of « Lolita » is full of references to this work: for instance, Humbert’s love is named Annabel Leigh (like Poe’s Annabel Lee), there are direct alluions to the poem (« the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied » p.9 TAL, «  », even his use of the spelling “lo-LEE-ta” seems to be a discreet allusion to the character of the poem). In Nabokov’s mind, these Poe allusions are directly linked to the fact this famous American author was in love with Virginia Clemm, a thirteen years old girl (even the date when Humbert stops searching for Lolita, on 09/18/49 could also be a reference to Edgar Allan Poe (alternately, to Lorina Liddell – more on this later)).


mon billet en octobre 2014 était le suivant:


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