Vladimir Nabokov talking about ‘Lolita’..

..’a mirror of human frailties’, indeed..

So many things to love about this clip..

Nabokov’s opening gambit – “…First, of all, I don’t wish to touch hearts, and i don’t even want to affect minds very much. What i want to produce is, really, that little ‘sob’ in the spine of the reader. I leave the field of ideas to Dr Schweitzer, and to Doctor Zhivago…”

The way they all three suddenly rise unannounced from the desk and faux-casually wander over to the sofa. “.. I’d like to ask mr Trilling.. as we move over here..” Brilliant.

They’re drinking tea from tiny china cups, and Lionel Trilling smokes stylishly throughout – oh, and comes out with this little gem – “..We can’t trust a creative writer to say what he has done. He can say what he meant to do, and, even then, we don’t have to believe him..”

But most of all I love Nabokov’s story about the ape who was given charcoal and proceeded to draw the bars of his own cage, and how Humbert is Nabokov’s own baboon, ‘a genius baboon perhaps’, but still a baboon “… drawing and shading and erasing and re-drawing the bars of his cage – the bars between him and what he terms the human herd… It is his passion, the pattern of his passion…”


One thought on “Vladimir Nabokov talking about ‘Lolita’..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s