More on Lolita

A follow-up on those charges that Nabokov stole the idea for Lolita from a 1916 German novel. Several Nabokov scholars are quoted in this St. Petersburg Times article, offering arguments against the plagiarism charge. Some of these arguments include the assertion that Nabokov wasn’t interested in German literature; that his German wasn’t very good (this amused me–Nabokov liked to brag about his command of foreign languages, but I can’t remember whether he ever did so with German); that the theme of a young temptress appeared in one of his earlier novels; that Nabokov was working on Lolita concurrently with his Lectures on Don Quixote, so there is that Dolores connection; and that Nabokov himself was plagiarized by others. The most compelling argument, though, was that the burden of proof should be on those who make the accusations.

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