dinsdag 18 juni 2013


'Of the rest, none had any claims to nymphetry except Eva Rosen.' - Lolita, deel 2, h. 9

In haar boek The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov, dat ik onlangs al ter sprake bracht, schrijft Andrea Pitzer op pagina 249 over een vriendin van Lolita, Eva Rosen, die in het boek Lolita wordt omschreven als een 'displaced little person from France', dat ze een Brooklynaccent heeft, waarbij Nabokov het feit onvermeld laat dat 'that accent was so recognizably stigmatized as Jewish in mid-century America that Brooklyn Jews who could afford to do so attended elocution lessons (often in vain) in attempt to hide it.'

Wat ik nu helemaal niet meer kan nalaten - wetend hoe dol Nabokov was op anagrammen én dat Véra Nabokov-Slonim joods was - is deze naam, Eva Rosen, stigmatiserend te lezen als Vera Nose...
      Waarbij nog kan worden aangetekend dat die naam fonetisch weer makkelijk kan worden uitgesproken en (mis)verstaan als 'Vera knows'.

'Unfortunately, despite "that French kid's uncle" being "a millionaire," Lo dropped Eva for some reason before I had had time to enjoy in my modest way her fragrant presence in the Humbert open house.' - idem

Reactie van Andrea Pitzer dd 18.06.2013:

In terms of Eva Rosen, it is true that Nabokov liked to play with anagrams, and it would not surprise me a bit if he were playing with inserting Vera's name into Lolita at that point. He operated on many levels at the same time, which is part of what makes his books such a joy to read.

I believe he layered the history into the literary allusions into the games and personal references so intricately that we will be able to chase down his brilliance for decades to come. I'm so pleased that you have your own ideas about what he was up to (and that you were rereading INVITATION, which is one of my favorites).