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Voorkant Weinman 'The Real Lolita - The Kidnapping Of Sally Horner And The Novel That Scandalized The World' Sarah WEINMAN
The Real Lolita - The Kidnapping Of Sally Horner And The Novel That Scandalized The World
Toronto: Albert A. Knopf, 2018, 377 blzn.;
ISBN-13: 978 07 3527 2750

[Boek van een schrijfster van 'crime stories' annex misdaadverslaggever die criminele casussen uitwerkt tot boeken. Ze is geen wetenschapper, het is onduidelijk hoe deskundig ze is. De kidnapping van Sally Horner in 1948 leidt in ieder geval tot allerlei opmerkingen over Nabokov's roman Lolita, en daarom lees ik dit boek.]

[Dat is eigenlijk al een vreemde keuze, dat trekken van die parallel, omdat het om twee heel verschillende relaties tussen een mannelijke volwassene en een tienermeisje gaat. Nabokov zou zich door de ontvoering van Sally Horner hebben laten inspireren. Een journalist schreef dat en ook een Nabokov-scholar vond dat. Er worden geen bronvermeldingen gegeven voor die bewering.]

"Sally Horner’s story buttressed the second half of Lolita. Instead of pitching the manuscript into the fire — Nabokov had come close twice, prevented only by the quick actions of his wife, Véra — he set to finish it, borrowing details from the real-life case as needed. Both Sally Horner and Nabokov’s fictional creation Dolores Haze were brunette daughters of widowed mothers, fated to be captives of much older predators for nearly two years." [mijn nadruk] (8)

[Daar gaan we weer. Als iemand het woord 'predator' gebruikt is alle kritische afstand weg.]

"For decades Sally’s claim to immortality was as an incidental reference in Lolita, one of the many utterances by the predatory narrator, Humbert Humbert, that allows him to control the narrative and, of course, to control Dolores Haze. Like Lolita, Sally Horner was no “little deadly demon among the wholesome children.” Both girls, fictional and real, were wholesome children. Contrary to Humbert Humbert’s assertions, Sally, like Lolita, was no seductress, “unconscious herself of her fantastic power.”" [mijn nadruk] (12)

[Nee? Beter lezen. Hoe ze haar lezing van het boek beschrijft zegt alles:]

"I kept reading, hoping there might be some salvation for Dolores."(14)

Ze ervaart Humbert Humbert als een verleider, als een onbetrouwbare verteller.

"If you’re not being careful, you lose sight of the fact that Humbert raped a twelve-year-old child repeatedly over the course of nearly two years, and got away with it."(14)

[Ze kan zich helemaal niets voorstellen bij een meisje dat 'agency' heeft, wil verleiden, seks wil. Ze heeft alleen maar standaard opvattingen zoals zo veel andere mensen die hebben en gebruikt de opvattingen van die andere mensen vervolgens om haar eigen stanpunten te onderbouwen. Zo kom je natuurlijk nergens en leer je helemaal niks.]

"Nabokov loathed people scavenging for biographical details that would explain his work.(...) He made his public distaste for the literal mapping of fiction to real life known as early as 1944 ..."(17)

[Dat kan ik me goed voorstellen. Maar natuurlijk trekt deze auteur zich daar niets van aan. Zoals eerder al een paar biografen verdiept ze zich in de archieven etc, etc. om een idee te krijgen van het privéleven van Nabokov in relatie tot Lolita.]

"A strange thing happened as I looked for clues in his published work and his archives: Nabokov grew less knowable. Such is the paradox of a writer whose work is so filled with metaphor and allusion, so dissected by literary scholars and ordinary readers. Even Boyd claimed, more than a decade and a half after writing his biography of Nabokov, that he still did not fully understand Lolita."(20)

"Lolita’s narrative, it turns out, depended more on a real-life crime than Nabokov would ever admit."(21)

"Some cases drop all the direct evidence into your lap. Some cases are more circumstantial. The case for what Vladimir Nabokov knew of Sally Horner and when he knew it falls squarely into the latter category. Investigating it, and how he incorporated Sally’s story into Lolita, led me to uncover deeper ties between reality and fiction, and to the thematic compulsion Nabokov spent more than two decades exploring, in fits and starts, before finding full fruition in Lolita.
Lolita’s narrative, it turns out, depended more on a real-life crime than Nabokov would ever admit." [mijn nadruk] (21)

[Dat klinkt veelbelovend ... zo iemand die het allemaal beter weet dan Nabokov zelf. Terwijl ze ook nog eens toegeeft dat de onderbouwing van haar benadering van Nabokov 'circumstantial' is. Dat citaat van Nabokov over Sally Horner wordt wel erg belangrijk gemaakt.]

"Vladimir Nabokov, through his use of language and formal invention, gave fictional authority to a pedophile and charmed and revolted millions of readers in the process. By exploring the life of Sally Horner, I reveal the truth behind the curtain of fiction. What Humbert Humbert did to Dolores Haze is, in fact, what Frank La Salle did to Sally Horner in 1948." [mijn nadruk] (24)

[Een ander gemakkelijk etiket en beweringen die uit gaan van vooroordelen. Het hele boek is een foute analogie-redenering]

[Er zijn ook vreemde dingen aan het verhaal over Sally Horner. Het verhaal is manipulatief. Sally lijkt zich bij de ontmoeting met de Pfeffers aardig op haar gemak te voelen, de Pfeffers waren niet meteen gealarmeerd. Hoe kan dat als ze het bestierf van angst? Over een foto die na haar ontvoering genomen werd:]

"Her eyes conveyed a mixture of fear and a bottomless desire to please. She looked like she wanted to get this moment right, but didn’t know what “right” was supposed to be, when everything was so wrong."(39)

[Wat een suggestieve interpretatie. Ze kijkt best gelukkig, vind ik, is een beetje verlegen. Maar ik zie geen angst in die ogen.]

"For Sally’s mother, it was awful enough that the Camden police had failed to bring her daughter home. Far worse was the news they broke to Ella: the man who had called himself “Warner” was well-known to local law enforcement. They knew him as Frank La Salle. And only six months before he’d abducted Sally, he had been released from prison after serving a sentence for the statutory rape of five girls between the ages of twelve and fourteen." [mijn nadruk] (39)

[Ja, zo helemaal vergelijkbaar als persoon met professor Humbert Humbert in Lolita ... ]

"He was, by this point, five years from finishing the manuscript for Lolita, and a decade from its triumphant American publication. But Nabokov was also nearly twenty years into his efforts to wrestle a thematic compulsion into its final form: the character who became Humbert Humbert." [mijn nadruk] (44)

[Zit ze nu te suggereren dat Nobokov worstelde met zijn eigen pedofiele verlangens en zo verder? Het zou me niet verbazen. Iemand die zo'n roman schrijft moet wel een pedo zijn, nietwaar? Nee, dus, en dat was natuurlijk precies waarom Nabokov geen zin had in mensen die relaties wilden leggen tussen zijn persoon / zijn privéleven en zijn romans.]

"When the reader meets her, Dolores Haze is just shy of twelve years old, born around the first of the year in 1935, making her two years and three months older than Sally Horner." [mijn nadruk] (45)

[Sally werd geboren op April 18, 1937, vandaar. Dat leeftijdsverschil is belangrijker dan Weinman ziet: 11 tegenover 12 jaar kan al een heleboel uitmaken. In juni 1948 - het tijdstip van de ontvoering is Sally dus 11 en 2 maanden. Hoe oud is Lolita virtueel in het boek op allerlei momenten?]

"Humbert confides to the reader that when he was nine, he met a girl named Annabel Leigh, also nine. They embarked on a friendship with strong romantic overtones and multiple rendezvous by the beach. Then Annabel fell ill and died prematurely, the idyll forever cut short. Her death imprinted a type, and a predilection, upon Humbert for the rest of his days. Girls who fall between the ages of nine and fourteen. Girls whose “true nature,” according to Humbert, bore little resemblance to real life. Girls he characterized as “little deadly demons.” Girls immortalized, forevermore, by him as well as his creator, as nymphets.
Humbert Humbert was describing a compulsion. Vladimir Nabokov set out to create an archetype. But the real little girls who fit this idea of the mythical nymphet end up getting lost in the need for artistic license. The abuse that Sally Horner, and other girls like her, endured should not be subsumed by dazzling prose, no matter how brilliant." [mijn nadruk] (46)

[Om even het niveau van redeneren te illustreren. Het boek had blijkbaar niet geschreven mogen worden, want 'zo zijn meisjes op die leeftijd niet', dat weet Weinman absoluut zeker.]

De beschrijving van de familiesituatie van Sally: vage huwelijken van haar moeder Ella, halfbroer Russell en halfzus Susan uit een eerdere relatie die al gauw het huis uit trouwen, vader die zelfmoord pleegt als ze zes is, moeder die net het hoofd boven water kan houden als alleenstaande moeder.

[Chaos dus. Armoede dus. Geen stimulansen dus. Ik kan me zelfs voorstellen dat ze niet zo ongelukkig was met haar ontvoerder, als die tenminste vriendelijk bleef en niet gewelddadig / dwingend was.]

"Robert and Jean Pfeffer were among those who read the news about Sally Horner’s disappearance. How strange, the couple thought. “If [Sally] had wanted to warn us about anything she had every opportunity, but never did so.”"(54)

[Ik bedoel maar ... Het verhaal over rechercheur Thompson dat volgt is typisch sentimenteel: "There were periods where he worked twenty-four hours or more without taking a break. Finding Sally Horner was more important than sleep."(57) O, wat een geweldige man. Dat als voorbeeld van de stijl. De man was ook totaal niet efficiënt bezig, zie ik. Geen wonder dat zijn recherche niets opleverde.]

Dan weer over Nabokov:

"As Marshall Thompson continued to track Frank La Salle’s whereabouts without results, Vladimir Nabokov remained on a quest to plumb the fictional mind of a man with a similar appetite for young girls. So far, he had not been successful. He could have, and tried to, abandon it altogether — there were plenty of other literary projects for Nabokov to pursue. But the drive to get this story right went beyond formal exercise. Otherwise, why did Nabokov explore this same topic, over and over, for more than twenty years? At almost every stage of his literary career, Nabokov was preoccupied with the idea of the middle-aged man’s obsession with a young girl." [mijn nadruk] (59)

"Over and over, scholars and biographers have searched for direct connections between Nabokov and young children, and failed to find them. What impulses he possessed were literary, not literal, in the manner of the “well-adjusted” writer who persists in writing about the worst sort of crimes. We generally don’t bear the same suspicions of writers who turn serial killers into folk heroes." [mijn nadruk] (61)

"But there is no getting around the deep-seated compulsion that recurs again and again in Nabokov’s work. I read through his earlier Russian-language novels, as well as more contemporary accounts by literary critics, to figure out why this awful subject held such allure for him." [mijn nadruk] (61)

[Zo tegenstrijdig dit. Allerlei mensen die Nabokov 'verdacht' vonden hebben niets kunnen aantonen zoals ze zelf zegt. Maar ze kan het niet laten om te suggereren dat hij pedofiele neigingen had, want anders zou hij niet zo met dit 'verschrikkelijke onderwerp' bezig zijn geweest, nietwaar? Ze smijt werkelijk met waardeoordelen, of die nu ergens op slaan of niet, of ze zichzelf nu tegenspreekt of niet.]

Dan weer Frank La Salle.

"La Salle was a crude, slippery figure, who lied so much in middle age that it was impossible for me to verify the facts of the first four decades of his life. One pseudonym dead-ended into another. Calls and emails to helpful, friendly archivists around the country bore no fruit, save for commiseration over my extended, failed, quest.
Without knowing the substance of his childhood and upbringing, and whether or not his predilections asserted themselves early on, it was difficult for me to determine where he came by his long-running desire for young girls."(75)

[Wat het blijkbaar gemakkelijk maakt om over van alles te speculeren. Het verhaal hierna bevat 'feiten' weergegeven vanuit allerlei vage waardeoordelen die de betrokken meiden / vrouwen neerzetten als slachtoffers terwijl ze duidelijk meegaan in wat Frank La Salle wil, ondanks dat hij een heel eind ouder is en zo verder. Die 'sergeant Wilkie' lijkt me ook niet zo'n licht, het is heel goed mogelijk dat hij de getuigenissen van die jongere meiden weergeeft naar zijn eigen vooroordelen. Ik denk dat een goede advocaat geen spaan heel zou laten van al die beschuldigingen van 'statutary rape', althans van alle dwang die er achter zou zitten.]

"La Salle pleaded not guilty to the multiple rape indictments from the Camden grand jury, but on March 22, 1943, he changed his plea to non vult, or no contest. The presiding judge, Bartholomew Sheehan, sentenced La Salle to two and a half years on each rape charge, to be served concurrently at Trenton State Prison."(84)

Meer over Sally's familie en over de 'prosecutor' Mitchell Cohen.

[Die uitgebreid opgehemeld wordt, ik neem aan omdat hij later de zaak kreeg over de ontvoering van Sally Horner.]

"Here’s the point in the narrative where I would like to tell you everything that happened to Sally Horner after Frank La Salle spirited her away from Atlantic City to Baltimore, and the eight months they lived in the city, from August 1948 through April 1949. The trouble is, I didn’t find out all that much."(105)

[En ook dat biedt de mogelijkheid om eindeloos te speculeren.]

"But I needed to understand what Sally was thinking and feeling — or at least approximate an understanding — so I read as many accounts as I could find by girls, born one or two generations after her, who survived years or decades of abuse by their kidnappers. I also examined kidnappings from the decade or so before Sally was taken." [mijn nadruk] (106)

[O wauw, dus dan weet je ook wat er gebeurde tussen Frank en Sally en hoe Sally zich die acht maanden voelde ... Knap hoor. Ze heeft blijkbaar nooit gehoord van redeneren op basis van analogie en wat daar op tegen is. In wat volgt zie je hoe ze zit te speculeren. Met het gegeven dat Frank moest werken en Sally dan alleen was doet ze niets, ze vindt waarschijnlijk dat Sally verlamd was van angst of al meteen gehersenspoeld was of last had van het Stockholmsyndroom.]

"Because in Baltimore, something changed in their relationship. Publicly, they kept up the pose of father and daughter. In private, the power imbalance between them grew more noxious. It was in Baltimore, according to Sally, that rape became a regular occurrence. It was the place where Frank La Salle subjugated her totally to his will psychologically and physically. The outside world never had a clue, even after La Salle sent his “daughter” to school." [mijn nadruk] (114)

[Uiteraard weet ook zij niet wat er 'in private' gebeurde. Wat vertelt Sally precies? En is dat verhaal betrouwbaar? Dat is eigenlijke het enige dat ik wil weten. Ze had zo veel kans om weg te gaan. Waarom deed ze dat niet? Zou iemand haar ooit die vraag gesteld hebben?]

"But by this point he’d broken her down enough, between the threats and the rapes, and the apologies and the treats, that he must have felt a measure of confidence that Sally would do exactly what he said, at all times."(115)

[Ja, ze was er duidelijk zelf bij, ze weet precies hoe dat er aan toe ging. Niet dus. Allemaal speculatie.]

"Then, if she had remembered to fast, Sally took Communion. The priest placed the host on her tongue. As it melted, Sally knelt and prayed for her eternal soul. Was the possibility of escape part of her prayers? Did she pray that someone would see behind the calm facade of Madeline LaPlante to the captive Sally Horner? Did she wonder if the things Frank asked her to do, which he said were “perfectly natural,” were, in fact, a mortal sin? Or did she pray for things to stay as they were because they might get even worse?"(117)

[Zogenaamde vragen. Maar allemaal even suggestief, want ze weet niets, ze fantaseert er lekker op los.]

"I don’t know why La Salle chose to enroll Sally in Catholic schools, both in Baltimore and elsewhere. No one remembered him being a churchgoer or having any religious leanings.(...)
But I suspect La Salle gravitated toward Catholic institutions because they were a good place to hide in plain sight. The Church, as we now know from decades’ worth of scandal, hid generations of abused victims, and moved pedophile priests from parish to parish because covering up their crimes protected the Church’s carefully crafted image."(118)"

Over de sfeer in Camden na een 'mass shooting', de achteruitgang van de stad.

[Waarom dit hoofdstuk? Hierna gaan we weer naar Nabokov, met de beschrijving van allerlei analogieën tussen Lolita en het leven van de Horners in Camden, Ella Horner = Charlotte Haze, en zo verder. En dan weer naar La Salle die na negen maanden Baltimore in april 1949 naar Dallas verhuisd met Sally.]

"However they traveled, Sally and La Salle got to Dallas around April 22, 1949. For the next eleven months, she and Frank continued to play father and daughter, sticking to the cover story that he had taken Sally away from her wayward mother to provide her with a more stable upbringing. None of their new neighbors seemed to question this. At least, not right away.(...)
Neighbors were closer in the trailer park than they had been in Baltimore. They could pay more attention to the pair, and get to know Sally — or think they did."(142-143)

[Dus weer elf maanden zonder dat buren het gevoel krijgen dat ze aan de bel moeten trekken. Sally heeft ze blijkbaar ook niet opgezocht om haar verhaal te doen. Bovendien zat ze weer op een katholieke school waar ze ook geen alarm sloeg of in een bepaald negatieve zin opviel.]

"At first their Commerce Street neighbors didn’t see anything amiss. Sally appeared to be a typical twelve-year-old living with her widowed father, albeit one he never let out of his sight except to go to school. Sally never displayed despair or asked for help. La Salle wouldn’t let her." [mijn nadruk] (145)

[Natuurlijk weet Weinman helemaal niet wat er gebeurde, maar ze vult zelf wel alles in. Hoe Frank la Salle dat klaarspeelde, tja, daar heeft ze het niet over. Ze vervolgt:]

"Her neighbors thought Sally seemed to enjoy taking care of her home. She would bake every once in a while. She had a dog, one she apparently spoiled. La Salle provided her with a generous allowance for clothes and sweets. She would go shopping, swimming, and to her neighbors’ trailers for dinner — sometimes with La Salle, and other times by herself, when he told her he was working the case for the FBI." [mijn nadruk] (145)

[Het zou best kunnen dat Sally het materieel nog nooit zo goed had gehad in haar leven. Ze kan zich vrij bewegen. Ze lijkt tevreden met alles:]

"The consensus about Sally and her “father” was that they “seemed happy and entirely devoted to each other.” Maude Smillie, who was living in a nearby trailer, seemed bewildered by the idea that Sally had been a virtual prisoner: “[Sally] spent one day at the beauty parlor with me. I gave her a permanent and she never mentioned a thing. She should have known she could have confided in me.”
Nelrose Pfeil was quoted in a court document several years later saying something similar: “Sally was in my home many times a day and she had access to several phones should she choose to use one. Sally had plenty of time to talk to me about being kidnaped [sic] if she had wanted to and I am sure she knew me well enough to know if she had said anything like that I would have helped her.” The only time La Salle kept Sally from playing with other children, according to Pfeil’s statement, “was when the person’s character was in question.”"(146-147)

[Maar na een 'blindedarmoperatie' zou Sally 'veranderd' zijn, een zwaarmoediger indruk maken. Hierna trekt Weinman alles uit de kast om te verklaren waarom Sally niemand in vertrouwen nam:]

"She might have been left alone for long stretches at a time, stayed late at a neighbor’s house watching television, and been on her own in the hospital for several nights. But if she told the truth, who would believe her story? Who would believe she had been abducted when, to all appearances, Frank La Salle was her father, and a loving one at that? And even if someone did believe her, could they help, or would they put Sally in greater peril?" [mijn nadruk] (148)

[Het 'niemand zal me geloven' argument. Uiteraard legt Weinman dat zelf in Sally's mond, alsof ze weet wat Sally allemaal gedacht en gevoeld heeft. ]

"But Sally did talk to someone, a woman named Ruth Janisch, and she believed what the girl had to say. Though Ruth’s motivations were more complex than anyone knew, her belief in the girl eventually emboldened Sally to make the most important decision of her life."(148)

Volgt het verhaal over die Ruth Janisch.

"Ruth may well have regarded the girl’s father with extramarital interest. That’s her children’s theory now. Whatever her motives, Ruth noticed something askew in the relationship between Sally Horner and Frank La Salle that had eluded everyone else who interacted with them. What Ruth saw between the older man and the young girl spurred her to the single gesture that defined her as a decent human being, an act she would relive for the rest of her days and memorialize in scrapbooks. That act did not make her a heroine in the eyes of her children. But it would bring her a level of attention she spent the rest of her life trying to find again." [mijn nadruk] (150)

"She thought La Salle seemed “abnormally possessive” of the girl he said was his daughter. Ruth tried to cajole Sally, still recovering from her appendectomy, to tell her the “true story” of her relationship with La Salle. Sally wouldn’t open up."(155)

Die Ruth verhuist naar California en Frank en Sally volgen in februari 1950 met hun trailer.

"Sally had been La Salle’s captive for nearly two years, since she was just eleven. She felt his presence at every turn, even when she was alone and seemingly free to do what she pleased. How trapped she must have felt to be in such close quarters to him as they spent that week or ten days on the road.
If Sally had allowed herself to let her mind roam, she might have given in to feelings of despair, or to anger over what La Salle had taken away from her. Or perhaps she was focused on how vital it was for her to survive. After days in the car and nights in the trailer parked at a rest stop, eating at diners, one after another, the emotional toll on her must have been considerable."(157)

[Weer allemaal gespeculeer. ]

"By the time Frank La Salle pulled the house trailer into the El Cortez Motor Inn on Saturday, March 18, Sally Horner felt able to reckon with the changes roiling inside her. She’d already made a significant first step. Before leaving Dallas, she’d mustered up the courage to tell a friend at school that her relationship with her “father” involved sexual intercourse. The friend told Sally her behavior was “wrong” and that “she ought to stop,” as Sally later explained. As her friend’s admonishment sank in, Sally began refusing La Salle’s advances, but kept up the illusion he was her dad."(158)

[Wie was die persoon? Is dit Sally's verhaal of het verhaal van die vriend? Ze vervolgt:]

"For so long she felt she had to stay silent, or to accept what the man posing as her father said was the natural thing to do between them. All this time she opted to give in because it seemed the surest path to survival. Now Sally felt freer in a small way. Not free—she was still in La Salle’s clutches, and could not see a way to escape. But she could say no now, and he didn’t punish her like he had in the old days. Perhaps he looked at Sally, a month shy of her thirteenth birthday, and saw a girl aging out of his tastes. Or perhaps he trusted that Sally belonged to him so completely he no longer needed to use rape as a means of physical and psychological control.
What she knew now was that her relationship with Frank La Salle was the opposite of natural. It was against nature. It was wrong.
"(158)

[Ja, of Frank had steenpuisten op zijn kont of wat ook. Allemaal speculatie, in de mond leggen van dingen. En hoezo is dat contact 'against nature'? Tegen de wet, ja, maar tegen de natuur? Waardeoordelen bij de vleet hier.]

Sally is weer ingeschreven op een school, daar in California.

"Sally was already enrolled in school, and may have attended as many as four days of classes. She did not attend class that morning, though. By staying away, Sally changed the course her life had traveled on for the past twenty-one months."(158)

Op 21 maart 1950 weet Ruth Janisch Sally aan het praten te krijgen en ze zorgt ervoor dat Sally haar familie kan bellen.

[Waar dit verhaal op gebaseerd is blijft weer in het vage. ]

"Ruth spent the next little while keeping Sally calm, hoping the FBI, or even the local police, would show up soon and arrest Frank. Sally, anxious, thought she should go back to her own trailer to wait for the police. Ruth let her go, hoping it would not be for too long." [mijn nadruk] (161)

[Dus: je hebt net van een jong meisje een 'verschrikkelijke misdaad' gehoord, maar je laat haar gewoon in haar eentje naar huis gaan, waar de 'dader' wie weet zo verschijnt. Sally blijft ook wel erg kalm als de FBI verschijnt. Het is allemaal erg onwaarschijnlijk. Daarna volgen gesprekken met haar. Baseert Weinman haar verhaal, het verhaal dat ze Sally in de mond legt, op die interviews? Dat staat nergens. Ze schrijft het neer alsof ze erbij was, maar dat was ze dus niet.]

"Sally confirmed that she and La Salle had lived in Baltimore for eight months before moving on to Dallas, and had only just arrived in San Jose. The entire time he held on to her, La Salle told Sally “that if I went back home, or they sent for me, or I ran away, I’d go to prison. The government ordered him to keep me and take care of me, that’s what he said.”
Hornbuckle then had to ask Sally the toughest question: whether La Salle had forced her to have sex with him during their nearly two years on the road. He phrased it delicately, asking if Sally had “been intimate” with La Salle. She denied it. But later, after a doctor’s examination, she confessed the truth. “The first time was in Baltimore right after we got there. And ever since, too.” And then in Dallas, she said a “school chum of mine” told her that what she was doing with Frank was “wrong, and I ought to stop. I did stop, too.”" [mijn nadruk] (164)

[Ze bleef dus bij hem omdat ze bang was om naar de gevangenis te worden gestuurd? Zeer onwaarschijnlijk. En waarom ontkent ze eerst de seks en geeft ze pas later toe? Oja, dat is natuurlijk schaamte en zo. Nou ... Op die foto waarop ze wat later weer naar huis telefoneert ziet ze er niet bepaald getraumatiseerd uit. Oja, ze was natuurlijk gelukkig dat ze weer met haar moeder kon praten ... Ja, laten we het simpel houden ...]

"No trace of the woman known as “Miss Robinson” was ever discovered by law enforcement. It remains another of the unresolved mysteries of Sally’s captivity. I believe the woman existed, because I believe Sally. Just because police did not track the woman down, and that decades later I also could not find her, does not mean Sally made her up." [mijn nadruk] (177)

[Goh, wat aardig ... Maar stel nou eens dat ze niet helemaal eerlijk is geweest ... En bijzonder vreemd, nu wordt ze ontvoerd door de instanties: ze wordt in een centrum opgevangen totdat er juridisch toestemming is om 'naar huis' te gaan, en daar in Camden wordt ze opgenomen in een centrum van de kinderbescherming zolang de rechtszaak zou duren en alleen haar moeder mag haar bezoeken. En dat terwijl ze de hele tijd zegt dat ze naar huis wil. Maar dát mag wel allemaal, nietwaar? ]

La Salle bekent schuld met de opmerking "I want to avoid this girl [receiving] any further unfavorable publicity."

[Klinkt goed. Maar natuurlijk gelooft niemand daar iets van. Vooral Weinman niet.]

"Because Frank la Salle pleaded guilty, Sally did not get to testify against him. In Mitchell Cohen’s office after the hearing, she asked, once more, letting go of the earlier courtroom stoicism and blinking back tears, when she could go home. With the case finished, and Frank La Salle going to prison, surely she could return to her mother right away? Cohen sympathized with Sally, and told her so. There seemed no reason to keep her in the state’s custody when the case was finished and La Salle incarcerated, but the wheels of bureaucracy turned at their own pace, not his. Judge Palese was the one who would have to decide when she could be released into Ella’s custody again. Palese did so the very next day."(192)

En dan begint hoofdstuk 18 en gaat de aandacht van Weinman naar Nabokov en hoe hij de Sally Horner-kwestie gebruikt zou hebben.

"It’s easy to imagine that, as he was laid up in bed at home in Ithaca with limited capacity to work, Nabokov picked up a copy of the local newspaper and came across the news of a kidnapped girl rescued in California after almost two years of cross-country captivity. It is not difficult to believe Nabokov, whom Véra described in their diary as being fascinated by true crime, paid avid attention from his sickbed as each day brought fresh news about Sally’s rescue and Frank La Salle’s crimes." [mijn nadruk] (195)

"Yet there is no direct proof that Vladimir Nabokov learned of Sally Horner’s abduction and rescue in March 1950. There was no story in the papers he was most likely to read — the Cornell Daily Sun, the college newspaper, or the New York Times. Similarly, there’s no direct proof he glanced at the Camden or Philadelphia papers, the ones that carried the best details and the most vivid photos. Neither his archives at the New York Public Library nor those at the Library of Congress contain newspaper clippings about Sally. Any connection dances just outside the frame.
However, there is plenty of indirect proof that Nabokov knew about Sally Horner and her rescue. The circumstantial evidence is there in Lolita. And I believe he would never have fully realized the character of Dolores Haze without knowing of Sally’s real-life plight." [mijn nadruk] (196)

[Ja, vooral Weinman kan zich dat heel goed voorstellen. Maar of het ook werkelijk zo gegaan is weet ze gewoon niet. Er is geen bewijs, zegt ze zelf, maar ze gelooft dat Lolita zonder die info niet geschreven had kunnen worden. Ze gelooft het, dus dan moet het wel waar zijn, nietwaar? Tja ... ]

"Though Sally adopted a mask of good-natured resilience, Al recalled his sister-in-law drifting into melancholic moods. She would be in the moment, then gone. A light would shine, and then flicker out. “She never said she was sad and depressed,” Al told me in 2014, “but you knew something was wrong.” The family discouraged discussion about her ordeal, and she almost never spoke of what happened with anyone. There were no heart-to-hearts. She underwent no psychological examinations; nor did she see a therapist. There was only Before, and After." [mijn nadruk] (207)

"It didn’t matter to Sally’s classmates that she had been abducted and raped. That she was not a virgin was enough to taint her. Nice girls were supposed to be pure until marriage. “No matter how you looked at it, she was a slut,” Carol said. “That’s the way it was in those days.”"(208)

[En toch volgden ze niet het advies van Cohen om ergens anders te gaan leven onder een andere naam. Ze bleven daar waar iedereen wist wat er gebeurd was.]

Over Sally's vriendje Ed Baker (als ze 15 is). Ze is meteen erg enthousiast voor die jongen. Ze overlijdt door een autoongeluk met die jongen in het weekeinde dat ze hem ontmoet.

[Dat is wel erg triest. Maar ook opvallend: geen angst voor mannen, alles heel normaal, gewoon verliefd. Ze maakt op mij geen getraumatiseerde indruk.]

Verder met Nabokov. Er is na het verkeersongeluk een aantekening van Nabokov op een kaart over de Sally Horner-zaak.

"Here, in this note card, is proof that Nabokov knew of the Sally Horner case. It is proof that her story captured his attention and that her real-life ordeal was inspiration for Dolores Haze’s fictional plight. Less clear is whether the wire report Nabokov read in August 1952 was the first time he had heard of the girl, or if he was, like all who had read the news stories in March and April 1950, stunned to realize that she’d only lived two more years after her rescue."(227)

[Zo gemakkelijk .... Het trok zijn aandacht, ja, maar het bewijst nog niet dat de zaak hem inspireerde bij het schrijven van Lolita. En er is ook geen bewijs dat hij eerder van de zaak op de hoogte was. Natuurlijk vindt Weinman van wel. Ze citeert Dolinin die het met haar eens is. Ze verwijst niet naar auteurs die een en adner bestrijden, als die er zijn.]

Dan weer over Sally Horner, het ongeluk, haar begrafenis.

"Frank La Salle made his presence known to Sally Horner’s family one final time. On the morning of her funeral, they discovered he had sent a spray of flowers. The Panaros insisted they not be displayed."(237)

[Dat mogen we natuurlijk weer niet positief duiden ... Volgt ook nog een heel verhaal over La Salle in gevangenschap en al zijn leugens en zo verder. Maar ook dat zegt allemaal niets over hoe hij met Sally omging tijdens hun omzwervingen. Ik lees nergens ook maar iets over dat hij gewelddadig was. Een mooiprater, ja, maar niet iemand die met geweld zijn zin doordreef. Ook andere getuigen als Tom Pfeil van het trailerkamp zijn best positief over hoe La Salle zich tegenoer Sally gedroeg en waren verbaasd toen ze later over haar situatie hoorden.]

"As of this writing, I have not been able to see Ruth’s [Janisch] scrapbooks for myself. They have been passed on from family member to family member, down generational lines. Ruth clung to her role in Sally’s rescue for the rest of her life, and brought it up again and again to her children. She wanted them to believe in her as a heroine."(248)

[Het zoveelste voorbeeld van bewijs dat ontbreekt en maakt dat Weinman speculeert bij het leven. Ze is ook onaangenaam bevooroordeeld, bijvoorbeeld als ze schrijft over Madeline, de echte dochter van La Salle die niet wist van zijn bestaan en zo verder en later als getrouwde vrouw met kinderen pas hoorde hoe het allemaal in elkaar stak. Ze zocht contact met haar vader in de gevangenis en hield dat contact in stand. Weinman interviewde haar en schrijft dan:]

"Just as John Ray, Jr., became the conduit for Humbert Humbert’s so-called confession, Madeline, unwittingly, became the keeper of Frank La Salle’s version of the story. When I mentioned the word “abduction” to Madeline, she interrupted me with some force. “That’s not the way he described it to me,” she said. She then proceeded to parrot the version La Salle had presented in his appeals—a version the court had soundly rejected as fantasy." [mijn nadruk] (251)

[Onaardig en zonder enig begrip. Als ze het anders had aangepakt had ze de versie kunnen beluisteren die Madeline als de waarheid zag en had ze die kunnen weergeven en kunnen checken met bepaalde feiten. Het woord 'ontvoering' geeft meteen een negatief waardeoordeel over de verhouding tussen La Salle en Sally Horner en ik kan me voorstellen dat de dochter van Frank la Salle daar niet van gediend was.]

Weer over naar Nabokov en zijn afronding van Lolita.

"When there were no butterflies to catalog, Nabokov was on a mad sprint to finish Lolita, burning his handwritten pages as soon as Véra typed them up." [mijn nadruk] (260)

[Dus blijkbaar zijn er ook geen handgeschreven voorbereidingen en versies van Lolita overgebleven die als bewijs kunnen dienen voor zijn verwerking van echte gebeurtenissen in het verhaal.]

"Nabokov knew he was writing a novel that could cause outrage and controversy. No wonder he attempted to destroy the manuscript at least twice that we know of."(262)

[Zo suggestief, dat soort opmerkingen, en steeds vanuit hetzelfde bekrompen perspectief. Zelfs de hele publicatiegeschiedenis kan ze niet weergeven zonder suggestieve opmerkingen.]

"Lolita moved far beyond the bestseller list to become a cultural and global phenomenon. The template was in place for generations of readers to be taken in by Humbert Humbert, forgetting that Dolores Haze was his victim, not his seducer.
At the time, no one noticed that Lolita was published in the United States on the sixth anniversary, to the day, of Sally’s death. And no one made the connection between fictional nymphet and real girl for several more years." [mijn nadruk] (276)

Dan komen er mensen die wél de relatie leggen: Welding in 1963 en Alan Levin ook in 1963 na een briefwisseling met Nabokov (in ieder geval met zijn vrouw Vera).

[Over Vera's brief aan Levin zegt ze:]

""Her response also carries an air of protesting too much.""(286)

"Véra’s stubborn insistence that the Sally Horner story “did not inspire the book” is akin to trying to drown out a troublesome argument with the braying of one’s own voice. Though it worked, since Levin did not push back — at least, not that we know of."(288)

[Dat soort suggestieve gepsychologiseer weer. ]

"Vladimir Nabokov’s otherwise scrupulous archive of Lolita-related clippings failed to include anything about Sally Horner because if it had, then the dots would connect with more force, which would upset the carefully constructed myth of Nabokov, the sui generis artist, whose imagination and gifts were far superior to others’. It’s as if he didn’t trust Lolita to stand on its own against the real story of Sally Horner. As a result, Sally’s plight was sanded over, all but forgotten."(292)

[Ze gaat uit van bewuste misleiding door Sally Horner weg te poetsen. Maar waarom is dan die notitiekaart waarover ze het eerder had wel bewaard gebleven?]

"As time went on, Lolita was adapted repeatedly — again as a 1997 film, as a 1981 play by Edward Albee, as a 1990s Russian-language opera, and even as a musical. The history of these adaptations, nearly all by middle-aged men, indicate how far out of touch they were from the novel’s core depiction of sexual abuse."(320)

"The Lolita Complex was a crude cash-in, written by a veteran writer from the paperback porn mills who began his career while in prison for check fraud. Trainer’s book did enough business for him to write a 1969 sequel, The Male Lolita, in which the faux–case history format shifted focus to young boys in power-imbalanced relationships with women. And Trainer’s literary contributions might have stayed forgotten save for an improbable twist: in its Japanese translation, The Lolita Complex became a foundational text for the development of manga and anime, particularly the “lolicon” subgenre where little girls with big doe eyes are depicted as objects of desire and in explicit sexual situations. (“Lolicon” is a portmanteau of “Lolita Complex.”)" [mijn nadruk] (321)

"Two years earlier, Adrian Lyne’s film remake of Lolita arrived out of its own legal quagmire, having faced almost as many censorship issues as did Stanley Kubrick’s. Lyne’s film, scripted by Stephen Schiff, is quite faithful to Nabokov’s novel. Jeremy Irons is almost too perfectly cast as Humbert Humbert (he later lent his voice to the audiobook edition of the novel issued on Lolita’s fiftieth anniversary). Dominique Swain is starkly believable as Dolores, holding her own against Irons’s all-encompassing talent, and Frank Langella shines as Clare Quilty."(323)

[Maar maar ... iets positiefs? ]

"More than sixty years on, the appetite for adapting Lolita or reviving earlier adaptations has likely subsided for good. It is difficult to see how it could be done, especially given the growing polarization of the political climate. The dark heart of Lolita, and the tragedy of Dolores Haze, may now be too much to transform into entertainment. It’s wiser, and saner, to remember the little girl at the center of the novel, and all of the real girls, like Sally Horner, who suffered and survived."(323)

[O, wat lief van d'r ... Wat wijs, wat gezond ... ]

"Sally Horner can’t be cast aside so easily. She must be remembered as more than a young girl forever changed by a middle-aged man’s crime of monstrous perversion. A girl who survived adversity, manipulation, and cross-country horror, only to be denied the chance to grow up. A girl immortalized, and forever trapped, in the pages of a classic novel of satire and sadness, like a butterfly with wings damaged before ever having the chance to fly."(331)

[Yeah, right ... Whatever ...]

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