Today’s Hockey-Literature Crossover: “Nabokov Wins One for the Islanders”

by Jacob Saltiel

Vladimir Nabokov’s Stare

The author of The Secret Life of Vladimir Nabokov, Andrea Pitzer, is aware of that other Nabokov, first name Evgeni. Over at McSweeney’s, you can read Evgeni’s stream of consciousness from the Islanders net in the style of Vladimir. You can also hear her read on the CBC’s As It Happens, here.

For those unaware, Nabokov the author wrote Lolita, published by a French press known for producing erotica, it was the last book to be banned in the United States due to paedophilic content. Nabokov was one of the most notorious, influential and formally daring writers (Pale Fire) of the 20th century. Once told in an interview that his sense of the immorality of relationships between older men and very young women came across quite clearly, Nabokov responded:

“No, it is not my sense of the immorality of the Humbert Humbert [the narrator of Lolita]-Lolita relationship that is strong; it is Humbert’s sense. He cares, I do not. I do not give a damn for public morals, in America or elsewhere. And, anyway, cases of men in their forties marrying girls in their teens or early twenties have no bearing on Lolita whatever. Humbert was fond of “little girls”—not simply “young girls.” Nymphets are girl-children, not starlets and “sex kittens.” Lolita was twelve, not eighteen, when Humbert met her. You may remember that by the time she is fourteen, he refers to her as his ‘aging mistress’.”

from The Paris Review: The Art of Fiction, Number 40.

Nabokov the goaltender has played 646 games in the NHL with the San Jose Sharks and, currently, the New York Islanders. He’s been known to make saves like this. In the first round against the Pittsburgh Penguins, however, he’ll probably get scored on repeatedly and mercilessly.


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