Check out The Enchanted Hunter motel -- a nod to Lolita's The Enchanted Hunters hotel -- in this X-Files episode from the 2016 season, "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster." The episode was written by Darin Morgan, who is no stranger to awesome Nabokov references. His 1996 X-Files episode, "Jose Chung's From Outer Space," features a space overlord named Lord Kinbote.
In the very Nabokovian documentary 20,000 Days on Earth, Nick Cave recalls the very earliest memory of his dad: Him reading Lolita to him, admiring the writing, and Cave admiring his father. "He became a greater thing," Cave says. Lolita recurs in the movie -- it pops up briefly in the opening sequence and will return at crucial moments. Some screencaps below.
Karl Ove Knausgaard travels across America, retraces Norwegian and Viking trails across the country, makes this observation: "I loved it not only because I had finally seen something in the United States that Humbert and Lolita could have seen — a fabulous entry for Nabokov’s catalog of American monuments, wonders and reconstructions — but also because it struck me that the image of reality that this particular reconstruction presented was, in a curious way, absolutely true."
From My Saga, Part 2.
Part 1 is here.
An observer would receive the wrong impression from this salacious tableau. Their ages were wrong, I thought. Incompatible. Insidious Nabokov insinuated himself into my dreams once more, not allowing me to lose myself in watching what was before me, not allowing me to engage life. Hannah was my Humbert, the lieutenant the ingenue. Fire of my loins. They fucked, no other term can be used. Hannah and her lieutenant fucked and fucked.
...I won't translate Lolita even though I've always wanted to. It's against the rules. Nabokov's earlier work in rowdy Russian I could. "But in my arms she was always Lolita."
"Lo. Lee. Ta."
My memory has aged into an unruly child but is still quite precocious. (47-8)
Marisha Pessl's first novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, features a pretty clear case of Nabokovilia:
"You're a sick, sick liar! You're evil!"
I threw Lolita (Nabokov, 1955).
"I hope you die a slow death riddled with unbearable pain!"
Although deflecting the books with his arms, and sometimes legs, Dad didn't stand up or try to restrain me in any way. He remained in his reading chair.
"Get a hold of yourself," he said. "Stop being so melodramatic. This isn't a miniseries on AB --"
I hurled The Heart of the Matter (Greene, 1948) at his stomach, Common Sense (Paine, 1776) at his face. (461)
I'm nearly done reading Pessl's sophomore (and excellent) Night Film, which doesn't have anything quite so clear, though there's a strong possibility of some Nabokovian nods:
She was Beckman's latest housekeeper. Ever since his beloved wife, Véra, had died years ago from cancer, Beckman, totally unable to take care of himself, hired a multitude of petite Russian women to do it for him. (48)And another possible Nabokov nod:
"Need some help?"
"Yes," said Nora, setting a book she'd been leafing through -- Signs, Symbols, & Omens -- back down on the stand. "We were hoping someone could help us identify some herbs and roots that we found in strange patterns in our friend's room." (229)
(It's a frankenbook built from + )
"Here's my point: The administration should not be able to access the computers of tenured faculty. Let's imagine you were looking at some Web site of a communist politician, and then you're hauled in front of a committee. When the whole point of tenure is the freedom."
"I'm not tenured."
"You've heard what's happening, I'm sure."
Zee attempted to look bewildered, but he shook his head.
"You hear everything. You know what the deans ate for breakfast. You know when Blum takes a crap. And what I want to know is, when did we become afraid of sex? We ask them to read Lolita and Chaucer, but a nude picture is going to warp their minds? They're adults!" (87)
See also: More Makkai Nabokovilia.
According to the company, Lolita is "a pink rose colored Belgian style pale ale fermented with wild yeast and aged on raspberries in wine barrels. Aromas of fresh raspberries, bright jammy fruit flavors and crisp, refreshing body make Lolita ideal for beer drinkers fond of Belgian Framboise." It's been around for a few years, so the stock of underage-drinking jokes must already be exhausted, I'm betting.
Apart from that, and the door where the blonde had disappeared, the only light came from a lamp which threw a sharp white circle on melted candles, computer cables, empty beer bottles and butane cans, oil pastels boxed and loose, many catalogues raisonnes, books in German and English, including Nabokov's Despair and Heidegger's Being and Time with the cover torn off, sketch books, art books, ashtrays and burnt tinfoil, and a grubby looking pillow where drowsed a gray tabby cat. (574)
Clearly this Everett ("poor as a churchmouse" -- his phrase) was living off her money, Uncle Welty's money rather, old Europe preying off young America, to use a phrase I'd employed in my Henry James paper in my last semester of school. (463)
Compare to this bit in Nabokov's "On a Book Entitled Lolita":
...an otherwise intelligent reader who flipped through the first part described Lolita as "Old Europe debauching young America," while another saw in it "Young America debauching old Europe."
Bonus bit: Tartt quoting Nabokov on what she wants from awesome books.
Vladimir Nabokov's anagram, Vivian Darkbloom, has appeared in Ada and Lolita (and in the Acknowledgments page of Arthur Philips's The Egyptologist). She now also appears in the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars, where Vivian is the alter-ego of Alison DiLaurentis.
Thanks to the Nabokv-L Listserv and to Jansy Mello for the tip.
But: If you remove "Vladimir" (making his name maybe 50% less unpronounceable) and remove the smoothing, the Ngram Viewer graph tells a different story: "Lolita" triumphs over Nabokov only in 1955 and 1958, the dates of Lolita's France and American publications. (Big ups to Chris Manon for pointing this out.)
It took a student a few seconds to answer when called on “Joseph Reynolds, light of my life, fire of my loins” (name changed to protect privacy). My own soft underbelly was spoken (if not written) politeness, a Midwestern habit of deference and sorrys and if-you-don’t-minds my Midwestern teacher invariably mentioned or mocked or prodded in a mild recursive torment, recursive because politeness tends to be polite about itself.
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (2007)
Afterword: ...the Zugzwang of Mendel Shpilman was devised by Reb Vladimir Nabokov and is presented in Speak, Memory. (p. 418)
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000)
Here, in a weird radiance cast by the tails of a thousand writhing glowworms, sits on a barbarous throne a raven-haired giantess with immense green wings, sensuously furred antennae, and a sharp expression. She is, quite obviously, the Cimmerian moth goddess, Lo. We know it before she even opens her rowanberry mouth.
"You?" the goddess says, her feelers wilting in evident dismay. "You are the one the book has chosen? You are to be the next Mistress of the Night?"
Miss [Judy] Dark -- wreathed discreetly now in curling tufts of dry-ice smoke -- concedes that it seems unlikely. (p. 271)
"You have to keep with it," I told him. "You have to read on." I was making the argument I had made to myself, over the years -- to the harsh and unremitting editor who lived in the deepest recesses of my gut. It sounded awfully thin, spoken aloud at last. "It's that kind of a book. Like Ada, you know, or Gravity's Rainbow. It teaches you how to read it as you go along. Or -- Kravnik's." (p. 312)
Additional Chabon/Nabokov material:
Over the chessboard, Lanz confided a dark secret that Nabokov told biographer Field: the memorably dapper professor led a double life. On weekends, he drove to the country to participate in orgies with “nymphets.” He forced his wife to dress as a child. Another prominent Nabokov scholar and biographer, Brian Boyd, also concluded that Lanz was a “nympholept” after reviewing Nabokov’s extensive correspondence in the New York Public Library.
Lanz was best known for his 1941 book, In Quest of Morals.
Viz (from the Amazon DVD description): Almost in spite of the obsessive cultural references (flying saucers, Nabokov's Lolita, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle), Ed Crane steps neatly from the fray as one of cinema's most memorably disenchanted characters.
Somehow the thought of all these glorified young characters getting old puts me in mind of the final chapters of "Lolita," when Humbert visits Lolita (now Dolly) to find her “frankly and hugely pregnant” with a dog like a fat dolphin:
Her pale freckled cheeks were hollowed, and her bare shins and arms had lost all their tan, so that the little hairs showed. She wore a brown, sleeveless cotton dress and sloppy felt slippers.
It's a scene of horrible and excruciating diminution, made more agonizing by the fact that Humbert sees how sordid her life is—her body is—but loves her anyway. Of course, this isn’t Nabokov we’re talking about.
What is your favorite book?
One of my all-time favorite books is Lolita by Nabokov. I just think he’s such an amazing writer. It’s not the favorite because I have about a zillion favorite books. I’ve always liked The Art of Happiness, Dalai Lama’s book. I think that’s always a good go-to book if you’re feeling depressed. It puts things into perspective.