This file contains a bunch of notes I made while reading Lolita. These are all things that I had to or decided to look up while reading the novel.

Mystery Words:

Phocine (Chapter 1.11, Paragraph 7): 
	Used to describe Charlotte.
	Perhaps a typo of "porcine"?
	SEAL[2] (seel)  n
	--n.  1. Any of various aquatic, carnivorous mammals of the
             families Phocidae and Otariidae, having a sleek, 
             torpedo-shaped body and limbs that are modified
	     into paddlelike flippers.

Olisbos-like (Chapter 1.22, Paragraph 2): 
	Used to describe a flashlight.
	An olisbos was a leather phallus worn by
	Greek revellers.	

	Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 13:38:33 -0800
	From: Research & Information Unit 
	Subject: olisbos

	olisbos is literally a 'slipper', can also be made of wood. 
        Referred to also in Sappho, although the context is uncertain. 
        an olisbokollix is a loaf of bread shaped like the same.

Edusively (Chapter 2.15, Paragraph 2):
	"Effusively. Edusively. (placed!)"
	Used to describe Edusa Gold (drama coach).
	Possibly just a pun on her name.

Flavid (Chapter 2.35, The Poem):
	"ripping his flavid toga"
	Flavius? Assassinated Roman Generals...	
	FLAVIN (FLAY'vin)  n.
	--n.  1. Any of various water-soluble *yellow* pigments, including
	riboflavin, found in plant and animal tissue as coenzymes of


Text         The Latin poet Gaius Valerius CATULLUS, c.84-54 BC, is known      
             chiefly for his poems to his mistress Lesbia, which since the     
             16th century have been widely imitated by English poets.  They    
             include poems of infatuation, of despair, and of obscene          
             Little is known about the life of CATULLUS except what can be     
             reconstructed from his poems.  Only one copy of his works         
             survived the Middle Ages;  it was discovered in his birthplace,   
             Verona, early in the 14th century.  In all, CATULLUS left a       
             small but spirited collection of 116 poems written in various     
             meters.  His verse includes longer poems in the learned Greek     
             style, erotic verse to a boy named Juventius, and occasional      
             poems on subjects ranging from the bad manners of dinner          
             companions to the sexual excesses of Julius Caesar.               
             CATULLUS virtually made a religion of his love for Lesbia--in     
             reality, Clodia, sister of Cicero's arch enemy, Clodius           
             Pulcher.  For him she was almost a divinity, someone in whose     
             service, or servitude, a life could be well spent.  In this       
             respect, CATULLUS was the precursor of the love poets of the      
             next generation--OVID, PROPERTIUS, and TIBULLUS--as well as of    
             the medieval tradition of COURTLY LOVE.  His poetry is widely     
             considered the epitome of lyricism, of direct and impassioned     
             sincerity;  yet his verse is also learned and allusive.  Its      
             union of passion and elegance suggests that CATULLUS wrote with   
             one eye on his mistress and the other on the Greek poets,         
             especially Callimachus and Sappho.  STEELE COMMAGER               
Biblio.      Bibliography: Ferguson, J., CATULLUS (1985); Havelock, Eric       
             A., The Lyric Genius of CATULLUS (1939;  repr.  1967);  Quinn,    
             Kenneth, ed., CATULLUS, Poems (1970), Approaches to CATULLUS      
             (1972), and CATULLUS (1973);  Ross, David O., Jr., Style and      
             Tradition in CATULLUS (1969);  Wigham, Peter, Poems of CATULLUS   
             (1966);  Wiseman, T.  P., CATULLUS and His World (1985).          

Article QUIMBY, Phineas Parkhurst

Text         Phineas Parkhurst QUIMBY, b. Lebanon, N.H., Feb. 16, 1802, d.
             Jan. 16, 1866, developed a philosophy of mental healing that
             laid the foundation for NEW THOUGHT. At first a hypnotist, he
             turned to mental healing in the belief that he had rediscovered
             the secret of Jesus' healing ministry. He held that all disease
             is an error of the mind and could be cured by a proper
             understanding of the relation between the divine and the human.
             One of QUIMBY's patients was Mary Baker EDDY, who may have
             derived from him the inspiration for CHRISTIAN SCIENCE; she
             denied this, however. The New Thought movement grew out of the
             "mental science" of another QUIMBY patient, Warren Felt Evans.
Biblio.      Bibliography: Dresser, H. W., ed., The QUIMBY Manuscripts        
             (1921); Hawkins, Ann B., Phineas Parkhurst QUIMBY (1970).        
Article Number

Article NABOKOV, Vladimir

Text         {nah-baw'-kawv, vlah-dee'-mir}                                    
             One of the 20th century's master craftsmen of fiction, Vladimir   
             Vladimirovich NABOKOV, b.  Saint Petersburg, Apr.  23, 1899, d.   
             Montreux, Switzerland, July 2, 1977, was born into a family of    
             cosmopolitan Russian aristocrats.  At a very early age he         
             learned English and French, becoming in his words, "a perfectly   
             normal trilingual child." He settled on a literary career while   
             still in his teens, publishing his first two volumes of Russian   
             verse in 1914 and 1918.  He also won recognition as an expert     
             on butterflies, an interest that proved lifelong.  He was         
             educated at the Tenishev Academy in Saint Petersburg, and after   
             the Russian Revolution continued his studies at Cambridge         
             University, where he earned a B.A.  in Slavic and Romance         
             languages in 1922.                                                
             The years NABOKOV spent among Russian emigre circles in Berlin    
             (1922-37) and Paris (1937-40) constituted the first mature        
             phase of his writing career.  There, in addition to a quantity    
             of poems, plays, and short stories, he published nine complete    
             Russian novels under the pseudonym V.  Sirin.  Brilliantly        
             playful and inventive in style, tone, and point of view, these    
             works--notably Laughter in the Dark (1932;  Eng.  trans.,         
             1938), Despair (1936;  Eng.  trans., 1937), and Invitation to a   
             Beheading (1938;  Eng.  trans., 1959)--revealed NABOKOV's         
             affinities with those writers, from Laurence Sterne to James      
             Joyce, who had treated fiction as in part a game.                 
             Before moving with his wife and son to the United States in       
             1940, NABOKOV tested his skill as an English-language novelist    
             by writing The Real Life of Sebastian Knight (1941).  Although    
             somewhat uncertain in its final effect, the book showed a high    
             level of verbal and narrative proficiency and--along with a       
             stronger second English novel, Bend Sinister (1947)--brought      
             him both recognition (Guggenheim grants for writing in 1943 and   
             1952) and academic employment, first at Stanford, then at         
             Wellesley, and finally at Cornell (1948-59).  The latter          
             university provided the background for his satirical portrait     
             of a bumbling Russian emigre professor, Pnin (1957).              
             NABOKOV became famous in 1958 upon publication of the American    
             edition of his wildly amusing, highly idiosyncratic               
             masterpiece, Lolita (first published in Paris, 1955).  This       
             success gave him financial independence--he abandoned his         
             teaching career for full-time writing and moved to Switzerland    
             in 1959--and provided him with an opportunity to prepare          
             English-language versions of his Russian novels.                  
             NABOKOV's reputation reached a peak with the appearance of        
             still later novels in English.  Pale Fire (1962) proved to be     
             NABOKOV's most elaborate "game." Consisting of a 999-line poem,   
             supposedly written by a recently deceased American poet, and an   
             extensive commentary, supposedly written by one of the poet's     
             university colleagues, the novel becomes at another level the     
             confession of a mad king exiled from a country much like          
             The idea of obsession with forbidden erotic pleasures, which      
             accounted for so much of the success and controversy              
             surrounding Lolita, was explored even more fully in Ada (1969).   
             The text is a fictional narrator's memoir, written when he is     
             in his 90s, memorializing his long love affair with his sister,   
             the title character.  Although engaging, the last novels,         
             Transparent Things (1972) and Look at the Harlequins]  (1974),    
             were not as powerful as their forerunners.                        
             Because he so passionately rejected the idea of fiction as a      
             vehicle for social and moral messages, and so thoroughly          
             adopted the aesthetic point of view, NABOKOV alienated a large    
             group of readers.  Nevertheless, few writers have matched the     
             precision and vividness of his images, the lyricism of his        
             sentences, or the complexity and richness of formal patterning    
             in his fictional worlds.  DONALD E.  MORTON                       
Biblio.      Bibliography: Appel, Alfred, Jr., NABOKOV's Dark Cinema           
             (1974);  Bader, Julia, Crystal Land:  Artifice in NABOKOV's       
             English Novels (1972);  Boyd, Brian, Vladimir NABOKOV:  The       
             Russian Years (1990);  Dembo, L.  S., ed., NABOKOV:  The Man      
             and His Work (1967);  Field, Andrew, NABOKOV:  His Life in Art    
             (1967) and NABOKOV:  His Life in Part (1977);  Fowler, Douglas,   
             Reading NABOKOV (1974);  Lee, Lawrence L., Vladimir NABOKOV       
             (1976);  Morton, Donald E., Vladimir NABOKOV (1974);  NABOKOV,    
             Vladimir, Speak, Memory:  An Autobiography Revisited, rev.  ed.   
             (1966) and Selected Letters, 1940-1977, edited by Dmitri          
             NABOKOV and Matthew J.  Bruccoli (1989);  Stegner, Page, Escape   
             Into Aesthetics:  The Art of Vladimir NABOKOV (1966);  Stuart,    
             Dabney, NABOKOV:  The Dimensions of Parody (1978).                
Article Number

Article Klein, MELANIE

Text         MELANIE Klein, b. Vienna, Mar. 30, 1882, d. London, Sept. 24,  
             1960, pioneered in the psychoanalysis of children and invented 
             play therapy. Klein's analyses of infantile and child          
             development have been of key importance to psychoanalytic      
             theory on personality development. In particular, she studied  
             the earliest beginnings of the Oedipus complex and superego and
             analyzed personality origins in terms of paranoid- schizoid and
             depressive patterns.                                           
Biblio.      Bibliography: Segal, Hanna, Introduction to the Work of MELANIE
             Klein, 2d ed. (1974).                                          

Article WEISS, Peter

Text         {vys}                                                                  
             A German playwright and novelist who has helped develop the            
             concept of documentary drama, Peter WEISS, b. Nov. 8, 1916, is         
             most famous for his play Marat/Sade, which uses the French             
             insane asylum of Charenton in 1808 as a metaphorical image of          
             contemporary society. After being forced to leave Germany in           
             1934, WEISS eventually settled in Sweden, where he established         
             himself as a painter and as a director of avant-garde films.           
             His first three plays--The Tower (1948; Eng. trans., 1966), Die        
             Versicherung (Insurance, 1952), and Night with Guests (1963;           
             Eng. trans., 1968)--show the influence of Kafka and the French         
             THEATER OF THE ABSURD. With Marat/Sade (1963; Eng. trans.,             
             1965; film, 1966), WEISS's political perspective changed, and          
             in his next three plays, all experiments in documentary                
             theater--The Investigation (1965; Eng. trans., 1966), Song of          
             the Lusitanian Bogey (1965; Eng. trans., 1970), and Vietnam            
             Discourse (1968; Eng. trans., 1970)--he employed the alienation        
             techniques developed by Bertolt BRECHT to raise the audience's         
             social consciousness to explore different kinds of political           
             and racial oppression. WEISS has also published a series of            
             autobiographical novels and stories, notably Leavetaking (1961;        
             Eng. trans., 1962) and Vanishing Point (1962; Eng. trans.,             
             1966). JACK ZIPES                                                      
Biblio.      Bibliography: Best, Otto F., Peter WEISS, trans. by Ursule             
             Molinaro (1976); Hilton, Ian, Peter WEISS: A Search for                
             Affinities (1970).                                                     
Article Number

More Vocabulary

Word         VAIR (var)  n.
Definition   --n.  1. A fur, probably squirrel, much used in medieval times 
             to line and trim robes.  2. A heraldic representation of fur.
Etymology    ME vaire < OFr. VAIR < Lat. varius, variegated.
Domain       Art, Politics

Word         CANTRIP (KAN'trip)  n.
Definition   --n.  1. A magic spell; a witch's trick.  2. A mischievous 
             trick; prank.
Usage        Scot.
Etymology    Orig. unknown.
Domain       British

Word         PROCRUSTEAN also PROCRUSTEAN (proh-KRUHS'tee-uhn)  adj.
Definition   --adj.  1. Producing or designed to produce conformity by 
             ruthless or arbitrary means.  2. Having merciless disregard 
             for individual differences or special circumstances.
Etymology    After Procrustes, a mythical Greek giant who stretched or 
             shortened captives to make them fit his beds < prokrouein, to 
             stretch out : pro-, forth + krouein, to beat.

Word         PROCRUSTEAN bed also PROCRUSTEAN bed  n.

Word         PROCRUSTEAN bed also PROCRUSTEAN bed  n.
Definition   --n. An arbitrary standard to which exact conformity is forced.

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