Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Class begun on a thoroughly sonorous note--Jeremy Irons reading Lolita, which I gotta say made me want to listen to the whole thing. He's got the perfect voice for it; very fitting that he played Humbert Humbert in the second film version.

It was suggested that a possible reason N. may have had for making the subject of his novel a pedophile(this is not what HH would describe himself as of course; he's only aroused by nymphets... uh huh) may be one that Shakespeare also had when composing Titus Andronicus: "What's the worst that can be imagined?". Shakes of course is working up--or down?--from Ovid's Metamorphoses , which contains a plethora of The Worst that Can Be Imagined. Why? Because the only why they can possibly be comprehended and borne is through art.

It was quite an Ovidian day; the names of Jean Farlow(one of Charlotte Haze's would-be artistic friends) are Cavall and Melampus. The former is the hound of King Arthur, the latter one of Actaeon's hounds; Actaeon who was torn to shreds by his own dogs after being transformed into a stag by the goddess Diana after he spied upon her bathing. The two dogs are mentioned in Lolita when HH and Charlotte and Jean are at Hourglass Lake, with Jean telling an anecdote about skinny-dipping. And is HH, who loathes dogs, a beast who'll be shredded?

Or is he Caliban, another eloquent "thing of darkness"? As N. has The Tempest runs through much of his work, it is a fair assumption. Similarly, if HH is Caliban, who's to say N. isn't Prospero? I'm having lot's of question marks aren't I?

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