[ a literary discussion about girls and honour ]
When I came across the book The Annotated Lolita in my local charity shop the other day, quite a few things fell into place. Having just finished Casanova’s memoirs a few weeks earlier, and always having been acutely aware that Lolita is no ordinary book at all, Alfred Appel, Jr.’s annotations (I’m pretty sure this is another tongue-in-cheek pseudonym of ‘magician’ Nabokov, it does bear all the signs and hallmarks) were a timely further eye-opener. Hearing so many tales and behind-the-scene infos about Nabokov and what he was doing with the novel, suddenly so many things tied into the cultural pastiche rendered by Casanova that I decided to contribute a few trails of thought to the cause.
The first thing is the cultural background of Nabokov, him having gone through the final decline of his family’s long ties with Monarchic tradition (as the astonishingly sound and stylish intellectual that he was). That tradition, during Casanova’s time was the normal state of existence and portrayed by him in a very real, down-to-earth fashion.
The second thing are the girls.