By Julian W. Connolly
(Studies in Russian and Slavic literatures, cultures and heritage)
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Extra info for A reader's guide to Nabokov's Lolita
But along with that she knew how easy it was, with the present–day freedom of behaviour, to turn a girl’s head and, generally, how lightly men looked upon this fault. The week before, Kitty had repeated to her mother her conversation with Vronsky during the mazurka. This conversation had partly set the princess at ease; but she could not be completely at ease. Vronsky had told Kitty that he and his brother were both so used to obeying their mother in all things that they would never dare undertake anything important without consulting her.
Levin obediently took some sauce, but would not let Stepan Arkadyich eat. ’ he said. ‘Understand that for me it’s a question of life and death. I’ve never talked about it with anyone. And I can’t talk about it with anyone but you. Look, here we are, strangers in everything: different tastes, views, everything; but I know that you love me and understand me, and for that I love you terribly. ’ ‘I’m telling you what I think,’ Stepan Arkadyich said, smiling. ‘But I’ll tell you more: my wife is a most remarkable woman…’ Stepan Arkadyich sighed, remembering his relations with his wife, and after a moment’s silence went on: ‘She has a gift of foresight.
Come, now! What nonsense! That’s her manner … Well, my good man, serve the soup! … That’s her manner, the grande dame,’ said Stepan Arkadyich. ‘I’ll come, too, only I have to go to a choir rehearsal at Countess Banin’s first. Well, what are you if not wild? How else explain the way you suddenly disappeared from Moscow? The Shcherbatskys kept asking me about you, as if I should know. ’ ‘Yes,’ Levin said slowly and with agitation. ‘You’re right, I am wild. Only my wildness isn’t in my leaving, but in my coming now.
A reader's guide to Nabokov's Lolita by Julian W. Connolly