Who Wrote It First

By posted at 11:50 am on April 20, 2016 4

Nabokov fans, brace yourselves! Nabokov scholar Michael Maar accuses the author of stealing the premise of Lolita from another writer. Pair with this Millions essay about designing the cover of the book.

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4 Responses to “Who Wrote It First”

  1. I.
    at 3:13 pm on April 20, 2016

    I had the impression from the exchange that Maar thought of Nabokov’s Lolita as more influenced by or derived from Lichberg’s than a plagiarism of it.

  2. steven augustine
    at 4:32 pm on April 20, 2016

    Unless someone can show us the sentences, in VN’s Lolita, that are (or nearly) word-for-word copies of sentences to be found in a text known to have preceded VN’s book, using the word “plagiarism”, here, is libellous and… idiotic. Anyway, Maar makes it clear that his interest in all this centers on the distinct (but literarily inconsequential) possibility of a secret connection between VN’s Lolita and a German writer’s book…. he’s trying to hunt down another one of VN’s pranks. Did whoever linked this actually read the article…?

  3. Zoorlander
    at 11:53 pm on April 20, 2016

    From the article:

    Question: “So let’s get this out of the way first—is this about plagiarism?”

    Answer: “Of course not. The word came up in the press when I published my first article about the discovery, but that’s not what this is about at all.”

    And so it persists in the press. Maybe I should just be skipping straight to the Parid Review?

  4. Zoorlander
    at 11:54 pm on April 21, 2016

    The stealth edit from “plagiarism” to “stealing the premise” is hilarious. This slender distinction, adopted presumably out of self-delusion, is also incorrect.

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