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January 17, 2003

Nabokov and Legault: Together again for the first time
Posted by Teresa at 07:21 AM *

Robert writes:

I’m a big fan of Vladimir Nabokov’s fiction. Many of you are also aware that I sometimes translate Spanish-language comics (or graphic novels, if you prefer). These are often of an erotic nature. One of the graphic novels I translated is called Lolita. Its author, Milo Manara, is a well-known artist (he has a regular serial in Penthouse). While the title character’s name may have been suggested by Nabokov’s most famous novel, the story bears no resemblance to it whatsoever.

Periodically, like a lot of people, I’m sure, I run my name through Google to see what turns up. Sometimes I’m surprised—but never as much as this.

Well, I guess it can only help sales.

Comments on Nabokov and Legault: Together again for the first time:
#1 ::: Dorothy Rothschild ::: (view all by) ::: January 17, 2003, 09:09 AM:

Hey, anything to get the kids reading, right?

#2 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: January 17, 2003, 02:06 PM:

I look forward and sidewise to Franco Saudelli's adaptation of NORTHANGER ABBEY, with additional dialogue by Alasdair Gray, and a special appearance by the Rawhide Kid. Edited by, well, I'm here all day.

J. "the other Milo" F.

#3 ::: Trent Walters ::: (view all by) ::: January 17, 2003, 05:10 PM:

I wonder if kiddie porn readers will be disappointed by the lack of sex scenes. Will there be a literary revolution in the kingdom of pornography?

#4 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 17, 2003, 05:48 PM:

Trent, any reader who's into kiddy porn already knows about Nabokov's Lolita. Also, there are plenty of sex scenes in Manara's book. As Robert observed, the only thing it shares with Nabokov's novel is its title.

#5 ::: Trent Walters ::: (view all by) ::: January 18, 2003, 02:10 AM:

I really don't remember any sex scenes, let alone something explicit enough to entice kiddie porn readers. I regularly forget sex scenes in films as well. This must tell me something, but what, I have no clue.

#6 ::: Trent Walters ::: (view all by) ::: January 18, 2003, 03:16 AM:

I think I compounded my mistake. Instead of a publisher accidentally promoting literature as pornography, a bookseller accidentally promoted pornography as literature. (Open mouth, insert foot.)

#7 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: January 19, 2003, 01:31 AM:

Just to clear up any confusion: Manara's comic, which I trannslated, has a lot of sex in it, but is not too graphic. Nabokov's novel, while very erotic in a psychological way, has little overt sex described in it. It's mostly done with suggestion. VN scorned what he called "the copulating cliche9s"--and in fact one can read the novel as a clash between old-world eroticism and modern pornography (Clare Quilty, the villain [such as he is, to Humbert, the "hero"] makes porno films and wants to star Lolita in them).
Actually, I see no reason why the right artist couldn't make a perfectly good graphic novel out of Lolita (or better yet, Invitation to a Beheading, as Gordon Van Gelder suggeested to me). that is, if they could get permsission from VN's estate, which is unlikely--although, then again, he did sell the film rights twice, for 2 very different movies that each had a lot to offer. If Daniel Clowes, Jaime Hernadez, or Adrian Tomine will draw it, I'll script...
/the same ublisher, in fact, put out the English edition of the graphic-novel version of A la recherche du temps perdu. Now if they can make a comic of ~that~...

#8 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: January 19, 2003, 02:08 AM:

I'll script PALE FIRE if Dave McKean will draw it. Or, possibly even better, a hyperlinked Web version by Scott McCloud. (Though it might be the first graphic wossname in history to be accomnpanied by a recommended dosage of Cylert.)

#9 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: January 19, 2003, 11:33 PM:

I'm all for comics, Nabokov, and erotica, but Milo Manara has always made my flesh creep. I wouldn't let him mind mind a houseplant.

#10 ::: Alan Bostick ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2003, 12:05 PM:

Pale Fire oughtn't be a graphic novel; by rights it should be a computer game like unto Myst. You win if you can find the Crown Jewels of Zembla.

Hmmm, a puzzle game like Myst or a first-person shooter like Resident Evil, from Kinbote's point of view?

In any event, Mike should script it, with perhaps Greg Costikyan doing the game design.

#11 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2003, 03:13 AM:

I'm not such a big fan of Manara either, or of some of the other eroitc comics they assign me (though I do like Noe9; he's kind of like an X-rated Geore Woodbridge)--but, hey, they pay me to translate 'em, so...
Pale Fire is indeed hypertext before there was hypertext.

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