Re: RARA-AVIS: RE : Lolita and noir

From: bobav1 ( rav7@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Date: 13 Feb 2007

Dear Patrick:

OK, you win.

Lolita = not funny

Corpse-moving = funny funny

If I understand your concluding sentences, Lolita is not funny any more than the lives of actual child molesters are funny, but corpse-moving is funny because the lives of actual murdering corpse-movers can be funny.

And clearly, the discussion of humor in is simply deluded.

Thank you for making my day :) (No, really …quot; your email is wonderfully Nabokovian!)

Loving rara-avis,

Bob V in NYC

P.S. Amen to the superb stewardship of Denton!

P.P.S. Do Lankford and Doherty wish to weigh in on how Altman got the Mexican dogs to hump on cue?

The reply to Richard Moore:

Okay, but there's a lot more humor in Thompson's Recoil, when Pat has to get that corpse out of the elevator, or in Highsmith's Ripley Underground when Ripley is trying to get the corpse out of his wine cellar in the wheelbarrow and it keeps falling over, than there is anywhere in Lolita. Lolita is a psychological study of one type of child molester...and the child he molests, for in Lolita, the child is NOT innocent. Nabokov makes Humbert a tragic but not detestable figure. Clair Quilty is much easier to hate than Humbert is. One can even relate in some ways to Humbert's problem. In the wide world there is some crazy denial that children don't think about sex until they're 16 or so. Anyone's who's actually lived life knows children experiment with sex much much younger than that. That adults have a responsibility to control their behavior with children is the given. That some adults cannot and why, is the subject of the novel. I'm sure there were passages in Lolita that made me smile, but I would not categorize Lolita as a "very funny" novel. Any more than the life of Paul Shanley was a very funny life.

Patrick King

--- In, Patrick King <abrasax93@...> wrote:
> Frankly, Bob, no, I don't find those passages "funny"
> at all. I find them to be true and beautiful.

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