Alexei Lalo has contributed an article “‘Rules of Attraction’ in Nabokov’s Lolita: Sexual Portraits of the Main Characters and their Slavic Pedigree.” Lolita (1955) is discussed in this article as a formative text of the modern Russian discourses of eroticism and carnality built upon the literary achievements of the Silver Age. The discussion of sexuality in Lolita and its Silver Age pedigree is built around analyzing the “sexual portraits” of all the main characters. Their relationships as several “couples” are also explored. Influential initial critical takes on Lolita (by such as Nabokov’s coevals as Lionel Trilling and Stanislaw Lem) are made central to the discussion. East Slavic roots of the novel are traced to such texts as Ilf and Petrov’s The Twelve Chairs and “Confession sexuelle d’un Russe du Sud, ne vers 1870…” (1912) written by an anonymous author in French and published by renowned sexologist Havelock Ellis as an appendix to his collected writings. Lalo’s main argument is that at the time of writing Lolita, Nabokov (as some similarly experimental authors before him, such as Joyce and Wilde) was greatly influenced and informed by psychiatric, sexological and criminological discourses of his time (for example, by Alfred Kinsey and Havelock Ellis). NOJ, Vol. VI, 2012.
René Alladaye’s paper, “Through the Looking-Glass – Pale Fire As Anamorphosis: An Alternative Theory of Internal Authorship,” reignites the “classical” “sole or dual authorship” debate about Pale Fire and suggests a new approach. Pale Fire can be read as a literary variation on anamorphosis and Holbein’s famous painting, The Ambassadors. If we adopt this notion, claims Alladaye, the novel’s narrative structure appears in a different light. Depending on the angle we favour, Hazel or Sybil Shade might appear as the authors of both poem and commentary. NOJ, Vol. VI, 2012.
According to Simon Rowberry’s article, “‘His And My Reader’: Rereading Pale Fire Hypertextually,” traditionally, Pale Fire scholarship has focused on the question of authorship, ignoring the markers within the text referring to various readers of the text. Kinbote explicitly refers to both the Shadean and the Kinbotean reader, but there are also a few implicit references to the Nabokovian reader, who rereads the text in a non-linear manner, following their own intuition, rather than accepting Kinbote’s cross-references. This paper will argue that the Nabokovian reader is strongly promoted throughout the text as Nabokov’s ideal reader, and as an extension to this, is utilized in order to teach the reader how to explore the hypertextuality of the text. This hypertextuality plays an important role throughout the Nabokov corpus, but no more so than within Pale Fire, where Nabokov has introduced enough multiplicity and ambiguity in the text that the text is a triumph of the reader over the authority of Nabokov. This paper will consider why Nabokov a hypertextual methodology suits Nabokov’s aims in the novel, despite the fact that it presents the reader with a greater role both the production and interpretation of the text. NOJ, Vol. VI, 2012.