July 31, 1998 |
After seeing 90 minutes of "Lolita," a studio head told director Adrian Lyne, then seeking U.S. distribution for his controversial movie, "The footage is unequivocally extraordinary." Lyne never heard another word from that executive. Another studio chief came racing out of a screening of "Lolita," ordaining Lyne "a genius." Executives at that studio would later say "Lolita" was essentially an art film that was too great a financial risk to release.
August 10, 1998
The Aug. 3 Counterpunch by Paul Maurer, which criticized the remake of "Lolita," drew a heavy and fervent response from readers. Today we offer viewpoints from an executive at Showtime and from readers on both sides of the debate. Paul Maurer is right about one thing: "Lolita" is really dangerous, but not to children. No self-respecting teenager could sit through this slow, melancholy meditation of an aging academic, as he becomes the jailer and then the prisoner of a moronic 14-year-old.
December 21, 2008 |
Verses and Versions Three Centuries of Russian Poetry Selected and translated by Vladimir Nabokov Harcourt: 442 pp., $40 The only true translation is a literal one. Vladimir Nabokov's repetition of this truth became one of his many commandments. By literal, he means the strict rendering -- as closely as associative and syntactical capacities of the "into" language will allow -- of the poem's exact contextual meaning in the "from" language.
February 2, 2008 |
A chain of retail stores in Britain has withdrawn the sale of beds named Lolita and designed for 6-year-old girls after furious parents pointed out that the name was synonymous with sexually active pre-teens. Woolworths said staff administering the website selling the beds were not aware of the connection to "Lolita," the 1955 novel by Vladimir Nabokov, about a man who becomes sexually involved with a 12-year-old girl.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 1995
Regarding the Gripe by Prof. Dorine Kondo (" 'Miss Saigon' Is a Celebration of Stereotypes," Feb. 18): It's a "brave new world" as Kondo and the new '90s make mountains out of the mole hills of race and gender. Perhaps if the bar girl had written "Miss Saigon," it would then be palatable to the professor. In the future, please judge a work on its own merit, professor. Your students deserve an objective frame of reference. (Russian writer Vladimir) Nabokov would shrug his shoulders under his headstone if he could hear such "Bend Sinister" politically correct thoughts.
June 29, 1996
Kudos to Patt Morrison for "These Stories Are Classics for a Reason" (June 21). Sanitizing "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" is tantamount to turning "Nessun Dorma" into Italian rap. Later this year, a new film version of a modern classic, Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita," is due out. I have no idea what director Adrian Lyne has wrought, but I fear the worst. Watch, the new "Lolita" will feature Clare Quilty and Humbert Humbert (played by Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise) agreeing to create a radio talk show on which they will promote pedophilia as a way to get fathers more involved in their children's lives.
June 24, 1990
Concerning "A 'Lolita' for the '90s," in the June 10 Outtakes: The original 1962 movie version of Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita" may have only featured "a pedicure as the film's most erotic scene," but the considerable combined talent of Stanley Kubrick, James Mason, Peter Sellers and Shelley Winters managed to produce a near-masterpiece that more that adequately brought the painful psychology of Humbert Humbert to the screen. That individuals with the track records of James Dearden, Adrian Lyne and Carolco International should feel that they can do better with such a supremely delicate subject can only serve as a further demonstration of the overweening arrogance, shameless exploitation and transcendental lack of taste driving too much of contemporary Hollywood.
July 5, 1990 |
Maurice Girodias, the French publisher who put Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita" in print and spent much of his life fighting censors, has died of a heart attack, publishing sources said Wednesday. He was 71. Girodias died Tuesday shortly after suffering the attack during an interview with a French Jewish radio station. The interview was to have been broadcast to coincide with the publication of his memoirs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 11, 1999
Q: Why do people have accents? A: Because of the patterns of speaking learned in their native language, according to "The Language Instinct," by language maven Steven Pinker. Part of the problem has to do with the normal order of words in a sentence, which varies from language to language. More important, however, are the phonemes, the individual sounds that are combined into words.