Three weeks before Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita” was published in France, Dorothy Parker published a story in The New Yorker—titled “Lolita,” centering on an older man, a teen bride, and her jealous mother. Coincidence? Maybe not.
Nabokov had initially discussed Lolita in 1953 with an editor at The New Yorker, Katharine White, a colleague of Parker’s. After Nabokov’s story was rejected in the US, he placed it with a Paris publisher, to be released that September. Then, on August 26, he saw Parker’s story in the New Yorker…and was outraged.
Ironically, Parker was later asked to review Nabokov’s book. She wrote, “quote… His Lolita is a fine book, a distinguished book—all right, then—a great book.”
Authors are fascinating folks. For more, tune into my show The Book Report. http://www.bookreportradio.com