Abstract

The image of the mermaid was important to Nabokov, and Andersen's The Little Mermaid is perhaps its best-known Western incarnation. The story is evoked explicitly and implicitly in Lolita, and a reading of the novel through Andersen's tale sheds light on some of the dynamics between author, narrator, and reader. The same allusions are used differently by author and narrator, and to different effect, according to the reader's attention and education. But Andersen's tale of metamorphosis has itself evolved: fifty years after Lolita's first publication, readers may be more familiar with Disney's animated film version. Considering this perspective brings Lolita into focus as a text of transition.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9965
Print ISSN
1080-1219
Pages
pp. 77-100
Launched on MUSE
2005-10-13
Open Access
No
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