The Lichberg Myth
© by Dieter
30 May 2016
AN URBAN LEGEND rampant among Nabokovians. Its adherents may prefer to call it
the Lichberg Theory. I will do away with diplomacy and bluntly call it the Lichberg
What is the subject of the Lichberg Myth?
That Nabokov's novel Lolita was
somehow triggered or inspired by an old and forgotten German short story also
titled Lolita, written by a justly
forgotten author by the name of Heinz von Lichberg (the pen-name of one Heinz
von Eschwege). Lichberg published his Lolita
in 1916 in a slender volume of his stories titled Die verfluchte Gioconda (The Cursed Gioconda).
The phrase "was somehow triggered or
inspired" surely lacks precision, but 'somehow' was not just used as a
stopgap. It is one of the features of the Lichberg Myth that nobody so far has produced
an explanation of how that triggering might have come about. The charm of the
Lichberg Myth is that it is a persistent open invitation to think up ways in
which the miracle may have happened.
The adherents of the Lichberg Myth enjoy a
lasting advantage they can exploit ad libitum. It is the fact that there is no
negative proof. If Nabokov really wrote "under the stimulus of Lichberg,"
as the originator of the Lichberg Myth once put it, that could in principle be confirmed.
If actually no proof has been presented, the adherents can always reply: but it
may, and some day it will. However, if Nabokov did not, that is something which
in principle can never be proven. Until mankind was able to shoot a lunar
rocket up to the moon, there simply was no way of disproving the contention
that there is a little imp on the moon's far side hopping around and yelling
"Great nobody knows my name is Rumpelstiltskin". All that could be
done was to say that, for this or that reason, it seemed unlikely.
What is certain is that the Lichberg Myth
was born on
But the mere fact that both Lichberg and
Nabokov used the common name Lolita as names for their heroines and as titles
of their respective works would of course never have made the headlines. It
would have been filed away as one of those curious coincidences. Nobody ever
saw anything striking or suspicious in the fact that both Jane Austen and
Gustave Flaubert called their heroines Emma, and even if it had been shown that
Flaubert's choice of Emma had been influenced by Austen, nobody would have paid
attention. So there had to be more than a mere coincidence of names, more—what?
Coincidences? Resemblances? Correspondences? Influences? Recurrences?
Allusions? Parallels? I will here stick with the most neutral term,
Maar's various articles and his book on the
teem with hints and intimations. It is hard to find an unequivocal statement of
his theory. The most concise statement I found in the English Wikipedia:
was most likely based on an until-then little known 1916 short story by German
Heinz von Lichberg, also titled Lolita and featuring an identical
Indeed, Maar's case does not rest on a pure
coincidence of names. "There is more", to use his words. "The
correspondence of core plot, narrative perspective and choice of name is …
striking." This was followed by a more complete list of correspondences:
"1) The title is identical, and the heroine has the same name. 2) She is
very young. 3) She is the daughter of a figure who lets a room by the sea
(lake), where the narrator wants to take a break. 4) She has an affair with the
narrator and seduces him. 5) She is, like the later nymphet, half-demon and
half-child. 6) The finale is a grotesque, dream-like murder scene. 7) Nabokov's
Lolita dies after giving birth to a daughter; Lichberg's Lola [not Lolita!] is
murdered after the birth of her daughter. Each narrator is left alone,
brokenhearted, but Lolita makes him a writer."
On top of that, he added a few more correspondences outside the realm of Lolita itself which will be discussed in
Maar's point was that such a number of
correspondences cannot come about by chance. Nabokov must have been familiar
with Lichberg's story—and
borrowed from it, consciously or unconsciously.
Somebody who in the meantime has read
Lichberg's defunct Lolita (in the
wake of Maar's cannon shot, it has been translated into English, French,
Italian and Spanish) may be dumbfounded, not because the two works are so
similar but because they are so strikingly dissimilar. Lichberg's is such a
short and slapdash story, light years removed from Nabokov's novel, the plot is
quite different, the love story proper between Lolita and the narrator takes up
meagre four of its seventeen pages, the rest belonging to the paranormal
narrative frame intended to be vaguely Gothic or "Hoffmannesque"—how can
such a light-weight piece of literature have been the Ur-Lolita? Even if somebody would prove what cannot be proved—that
Nabokov had borrowed sundry "similarities" from Lichberg—what
difference would it make? Shakespeare has intentionally and openly availed
himself of the works by his predecessors, and that has not subtracted from his fame,
on the contrary, it has only shown how much better a writer he was.
discussing the imputed correspondences one by one, one question needs to be
answered: what should count as a correspondence? A valid correspondence must
possess three features, I believe: similarity, specificity, substantiality. First,
of course, the two items compared must be really similar in some meaningful way.
If in Pale Fire John Shade composes a
poem and in Pnin the son of Pnin's
ex-wife paints a picture, both characters can be said to have something to do
with the arts, but there is no similarity. If in two novels the main character
has a Kir Royal at
It would take a number of high quality
correspondences to establish that one work had been derived from another. The
ultimate proof would be several passages which are verbatim the same. This might
be a case of outright plagiarism. The boundaries between the specific and the
unspecific, the substantial and the insubstantial are fluent, and not everybody
will agree where they should be drawn. But I trust everybody will agree that
for a correspondence to count as one, there has to be a decent degree of
similarity, specificity and substantiality. We will have to take the salute of
a tedious list of would-be correspondences. But the above agreement will
shorten the proceedings.
¶ "The title is
identical, and the heroine has the same name," says Maar. All right, that is a perfect correspondence,
but it remains to be seen what import it has. In itself it is a meaningless
¶ "The correspondence of core plot,
narrative perspective and choice of name is … striking." If this were
so, it would indeed lend relevance to the coincidence of name and title, and we
all should congratulate Maar on his discovery. Choice of name and title,
granted. But what about narrative perspective? There are only five ways a
thwarted love affair can be told: by an omniscient author, by some third party,
by the man, by the woman or in a mixture of perspectives. Chosing the man's
perspective as Nabokov did had nothing original. There must be hundreds of
novels telling the story through the eyes of the man. He could have found this
perspective anywhere, if he needed to find it. There was no need for Lichberg's
recondite Lolita. So this
correspondence lacks all specifity.
¶ Correspondence of core plot? I contend
there is only the weakest correspondence and that both works certainly do not
have "an identical theme". Both novel and story tell about the
unhappy love affair between an adult male and a young female, true. This is as
far as the agreement goes. But this is not the core of Nabokov's plot. The core
of Nabokov plot is that it is a pedophiliac's story. His Lolita is not just a
"very young" girl like Lichberg's, she is a child. Humbert's
emotional ordeal might have been much the same if the author had made her two
or three years older, but he expressly made her 12 years and 5 months when
Humbert moved into her mother's home in Ramsdale. With 12 and a half, she was
absolutely taboo, and Humbert was aware of it as well as everybody else. "Between
the age limits of nine and fourteen there occur maidens who, to certain
bewitched travelers, twice or many times older than they, reveal their true
nature which is not human, but nymphic … Between those age limits, are all girl
children nymphets? Of course not. Otherwise, we who are in the know, we lone
voyagers, we nympholepts, would have long gone insane … My world was split. I
was aware of not one but two sexes, neither of which was mine; both would be
termed female by the anatomist." In his mind, nymphets form a kind of
third sex. Exploiting a girl's helplessness and entertaining something like a
one-sided love affair with her was a criminal offense which must never be known
to anybody—"ten years in jail if you only show her you are looking at
As he himself makes abundantly clear,
Humbert's predilection for nymphets was pedophilia of a highly special kind.
His sexual interests were not directed towards any "young girl",
whether before, during or after pubescence. He was attracted solely to a very
special set occurring solely during pubescence. For them only he coined the
name 'nymphets.' In his mind there was a categorical schasm between normal
girls and nymphets. With puberty behind them, they ceased to be nymphets and
lost all sex appeal for him. (In the course of their time together, she turned
his pedophilia into something like regular one-sided love, but that was when it
was much too late for both of them.) To emphasize the correspondence of plots,
Maar called Lichberg's Lolita a "nymphet" and a
That, however, was not warranted by Lichberg's text, and this mistake collapses
¶ "She is very
young." We don't know how old Lichberg's
Lolita is. What we know is that she is a widower's "blutjung" (very
young) slender reddish blond daughter, working as a maid in his hostel. Also
that a German like the narrator was apt to think her younger than the locals in
her Spanish homeland (the implication is that they did not find her
inordinately young). My estimate is that she is between 14 and 17. However that
may be, what is important is that she is no child. (In
The "curse" on her is that she is
supposed to give birth to a girl and afterwards become insane. It is not clear
(and it seems Lichberg himself did not know) whether she had become pregnant during
the few weeks she shared with the narrator at her father's hostel and in
compliance with the curse would become insane. When her father tells the
narrator of the curse, the whole affair becomes too eerie for him, and
flees from Alicante,
ungallantly leaving her to her curse.
When he has left, she all
of a sudden dies
for no apparent reason, presumably breaking the curse.
So it is not Lolita who attempts
to flee from her lover, as Nabokov's girl does. Lichberg's whole story will work only
past puberty. The core plot of Nabokov's Lolita
is child abuse, and the core plot of Lichberg's Lolita is the misfortune of a "cursed" nubile young woman.
The basic plots of the two stories do not correspond, and the coincidence of
their names is left dangling in the air.
¶ "She is the
daughter of a figure who lets a room by the sea (lake), where the narrator
wants to take a break." Humbert rents
a room in the home of widow Charlotte Haze in suburban Ramsdale, presumably
¶ "She has an
affair with the narrator and seduces him." We cannot be sure if Lichberg's Lolita really seduces him,
but they do hug, so this may count as a correspondence.
¶ Lichberg's Lolita Ancosta "is, like the later nymphet [that is Nabokov's], half-demon and
half-child." Maar has missed one of the vital points of Nabokov's Lolita. Dolores Haze is no demon or half-demon but a perfectly human junior
high school kid. The Lolita Humbert raves about is a figment of his fervent
imagination. The demon is nothing but a projection of his. "You have to be
an artist or a madman, a creature of infinite melancholy, with a bubble of hot
poison in your loins and a super-voluptuous flame permanently aglow in your
subtle spine … in order to discern at once, by ineffable signs … the little
deadly demon among the wholesome children …"
By the way, nobody seems to consider Lolita Ancosta a demon or half-demon
either. I am no expert in superstition, but to my mind carrying a century old
curse does not make one a demon.
¶ "The finale
is a grotesque, dream-like murder scene." The persons being murdered are in a totally different
relation to the two Lolitas. In Lichberg's case it is Lola, a great-grandmother
five generations back, who is strangled by two disappointed lovers. In
Nabokov's case Humbert takes revenge by shooting a former rival. Lola's
assassination is all a dream, Quilty's assassination is as real as anything in
this novel can be. The similarity is only in the word 'murder'.
Lolita dies after giving birth to a daughter; Lichberg's Lola is murdered after
the birth of her daughter." True of
Dolly Schiller, Lolita's married name. Lola's (!) assassination took place a
hundred years ago on another continent and for different reasons. Whether Lola
or Lolita Ancosta have given birth, remains unclear. Lola must have, otherwise
there would be no descendants to bear a curse. Lolita probably has not; she
died because she was afraid she might.
narrator is left alone, brokenhearted, but Lolita makes him a writer." Not a writer, in Lolita Ancosta's case, but a professor
who tells his story to a bad young writer.
discovered a few further correspondences that go beyond the two Lolitas. They
don't add to the credibility of his Lolita Theory but are there only to support
his belief that Nabokov must have known Lichberg's volume Die verfluchte Gioconda.
In the narrative frame of Lichberg's Lolita there are two "very
old" German innkeepers, twins, with bald heads and long scrubby grey
beards. As this is a paranormal story, it is insinuated that back in the remote
past they were in
But there is a further correspondence
attached to the name of 'Walzer' that indeed is much less childish. Nabokov's
1938 play, originally written for the Russian theater in
Maar tries to assimilate the two inventions
by calling both doomsday machines. But Lichberg's atomite is no doomsday
machine but a chemical weapon reflecting the chemical warfare the world had
experienced in WWI. Waltz's invention on
the other hand is an intimation of nuclear warfare and a true doomsday machine.
(The play turns out to be a dream in a dream at the end of which the inventor
who believes himself King of the World is taken away to a lunatic asylum.) A
doomsday device is a machine capable of annihilating all of mankind. After the
beginning of atomic warfare, the possibility and feasibility and actual
presence of doomsday devices made them a common topic in the press, in films
and in novels. In 1916 and in 1938, however, nobody except perhaps a few
secluded scientists thought of doomsday devices. In a later foreword to the
play, Nabokov admitted that it sounded "a prophetic, even doubly prophetic
forenote … to the later atomystique."
may have devised Waltz's doomsday machine on his own or he may have picked up
the idea from some unknown source. Be that as it may, Nabokov cannot have
derived Waltz's futuristic weapon from Lichberg who had nothing like a doomsday
machine in mind but a box of atomite emanating a dreadfully poisonous gas. I
suspect one of Nabokov's sources was the Apocalypse of John: "And he
gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. And
the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air, and there came a great
voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And
there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great
earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an
earthquake, and so great. And the
great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell:
and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of
the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the
mountains were not found …"
That is much like the wreckages caused by his Telemort weapon which Waltz sets
out to demonstrate at the Defense Ministry. The first feat he demonstrates is
to whisk away a picturesque mountain nearby.
this excursion into Waltz' invention, we are left with a single valid
correspondence: the opening scene with both inventors waiting to present their destructive
gadgets to the War Ministry. Some may accept this as sufficient proof that
Nabokov had read Lichberg's book. As for myself, I don't want to exclude the
possibility, but given all the odds against it, I don't believe so. The waiting
room scene is not such a singular achievement that not both authors might have
come up with it independently. It is the obvious way to begin a story or play
about an inventor who wants to impress the authorities with a new weapon of his
much about the Lichberg Myth itself. It shrinks down to saying that there are
two or three valid correspondences between Lichberg's story and Nabokov's Lolita, mainly the coincidence of the
name and the fact that both Lolitas are young, have an affair with the narrator
and seduce him; and that there is a further correspondence between the play The Waltz Invention and the story Atomit which may, or may not, suggest
that Nabokov was familiar with Lichberg's short story collection. These
correspondences are far from proving that Nabokov's Lolita must have been written "under the stimulus" of
Most ado, however, was not about
the correspondences between the two Lolitas
and what they may mean but about two questions which did not need discussion at
all: How could Nabokov have come across Lichberg's book, and would
»his German have been up to the task of
reading it? In his Berlin years, 1921 to 1937, he could have found it in any
bookstore or lending library, for Lichberg had become a Nazi and was not on the
index, and if Nabokov had wanted to, his German would have been good enough to
at least skim it. Yet Maar kept producing theories of how details from
Lichberg's book might have leaked into Nabokov's works. In this respect the
Lichberg Myth blossomed. Yet everybody might have known full well that there
would be just one definite proof of the alleged relation. It would be the
discovery of some first-hand document like a letter or a diary entry or a
conversation or lecture note recording that Nabokov had actually read his supposed
precursor. This proof so far has eluded everybody and probably always will.
The first reason Maar gave and still seems to
give twelve years later was this: "[Nabokov]
could easily have crossed its author’s path. Heinz von Lichberg lived for fifteen years in the
south-west of Berlin, practically in the same neighbourhood as did
Nabokov." (The Süddeutsche
Zeitung quickly turned that into the observation that Nabokov and Lichberg
had "lived together" in Berlin, the implication being that he could easily
have stolen Lolita from his roommate.)
Now please ponder for a moment how likely it is that you will meet a certain
unknown person by crossing his path in a teeming city of four million. And just
crossing his path would not be enough. You would have to identify him, approach
him, make his acquaintance, talk with him about the books he had written. Even
if the two had lived in adjacent apartments this might never have happened. As
things stood, Nabokov from 1929 to 1932 lived in the borough of Schöneberg,
Luitpoldstrasse 27, and Lichberg lived on Südwestkorso 20 in the borough of
Wilmersdorf, about four kilometers away.
To foist another of my bad jokes on Maar which he thinks a disgrace for German
humour: He himself lives only 500 metres away from where Lichberg once lived.
Isn't that a coincidence something could be made of? Perhaps Lichberg's ghost, in
the spirit of Gogol's Overcoat, stopped
him in the street one night, complaining that Nabokov had robbed him of his Lolita, and that's why he is propagating
the Lichberg Myth so diligently. So much for the vicinity argument.
not quite yet. In 2016, in an appendix to his interview with Daniel Kehlmann,
Maar came up with a supplementary discovery. It is so beautiful that I would
like to quote it at length. When reading Nabokov’s Letters to Véra,
said Maar, "I discovered what
seems to be the missing link, if not the smoking gun. The copiously annotated
letters show that Nabokov and Véra were lodgers at a certain Frau von Bardeleben,
in Luitpoldstrasse, where they remained from 1929 to 1932." That much was
known for a long time. In his foreword to the English version of his novel Glory, written in 1971, Nabokov
remembered, "My wife and I … rented a parlor and bedroom on
Luitpoldstrasse, Berlin West, in the vast and gloomy apartment of the
one-legged General von Bardeleben [really a retired Lieutenant Colonel], an old
gentleman solely occupied in working out his family tree; his large brow had a
somewhat Nabokovian cast, and indeed, he was related to the well known
chessplayer Bardeleben, whose manner of death resembled that of my
Among themselves, VN and Véra called his evidently stout wife "The
Walrus". But now comes Maar's discovery: "There’s one genealogical
detail the rich annotations in Letters
to Véra do not reveal. Remember that Heinz von Lichberg, who wrote
the first Lolita, was
the pen name of Heinz von Eschwege. Well, it turns out the Nabokovs’ landlords,
the von Bardelebens, are related to the von Eschweges—Charlotte von Bardeleben,
born in 1766, was married in 1787 to Johann Friedrich Ludwig von Eschwege. In
other words: for at least three years Nabokov lived under one roof with the
family of his infamous predecessor. It doesn’t take much to imagine the rest.
The von Bardelebens and the von Eschweges both belonged to the Hessian high
nobility, and nobility weaves a meticulous web: everyone seems to know one
another and occasionally to meet. Heinz von Eschwege might have been a regular
or sporadic guest at the von Bardelebens; Mrs. Walrus might have clued in Nabokov
to von Eschwege’s books. Or maybe it was the other way around, and Nabokov
became a lodger at the von Bardelebens because he was already an acquaintance
of Heinz von Eschwege. Research, as they say, is ongoing."
I invite everybody to visualize the circumstances of that pivotal
meeting. One Sunday afternoon, the Walrus knocked at the door of their stand-offish
lodgers, inviting them over for a cup of coffee, promising them an interesting guest,
an albeit quite distant relative of her husband who was a writer too. While the old
Lieutenant Colonel hardly looked up from his family trees, they were presented
to that relative. In one hand a smoking gun, in the other his cursed Gioconda,
Lichberg handed Nabokov a copy of his book—as a fellow
writer, wouldn't he want to peruse it?
Nabokov politely took it along to his room, skimmed it, saw that there was a supernatural
story titled Lolita, took it to a
second-hand bookdealer and forgot it. But this disdain took revenge on him.
When twenty or thirty years later he began to work on Lolita, he was forced to proceed "under the stimulus" of
Lichberg's story. The first thing he did was to rename his girl, who so far had
been Juanita, to … guess what.
Maar offered two more theories about how Lichberg might have
influenced Nabokov. One suggested that Nabokov had consciously borrowed from
Lichberg and painstakingly withheld his name. Nobody was to catch the Lichberg
references he had carefully planted. (Until a literary sleuth like Maar came
and unravelled them.) But what would have been the purpose of planting
references to a forgotten and worthless story that nobody was supposed to detect? Well,
he might have wanted to signal something to somebody. But what and to whom?
Don't know. Research ongoing.
The other two theories are either regular memory or
cryptomnesia. Cryptomnesia is not a New Age phenomenon nor is it a psychiatric
disorder. It is something real. "Cryptomnesia is, literally, hidden memory. The
term was coined by psychology professor Théodore Flournoy (1854-1921) and is
used to explain the origin of experiences that people believe to be original
but which are actually based on memories of events they've forgotten."
A case of cryptomnesia sometimes cited is George Harrison's inadvertently
reinventing The Chiffons' He's So Fine from
1963 when he wrote his My Sweet Lord
So Nabokov read Lichberg's Lolita
in the 1920s, remembered it and willingly reproduced some selected elements
from it when he began work on his Lolita
in 1947. Or he read it, forgot all about it, and from 1957 on began to
reinvent the forgotten story that had been preserved in his unconscious mind.
That's an explanation which would at least make some sense. But the trouble
with it is that Nabokov's Lolita is
not an unwanted reconstruction of Lichberg's story but a totally different
story. To call that cryptomnesia would require a redefinition of the term. It
would imply that Nabokov when one day he began to work on a new novel he
tentatively called The Kingdom by the Sea,
he was occasionally interrupted by his unconscious (whatever that is) making
him sundry suggestions, for instance "Do not call the girl Juanita Dark or
Joaneta Darc as you intend to but Dolores so her pet name could be Lolita, and
that would make a much better title than
by the Sea." And when he subsequently parted with Juanita and The Kingdom by the Sea, his unconscious intervened
again: "But the sea is indispensable. If it disappears from the title,
make Lolita at least live near some body of water." Nabokov argued,
"Would a bathtub do?" No, said his unconscious, and they settled on a
New England forest lake. These changes in the course of composition
incidentally prove that Nabokov cannot have worked from an actual conscious
memory either. He cannot have remembered Lolita as Juanita.
That is, Nabokov's cryptomnesia would have had to be of a very
special kind, a psychiatric disorder where isolated scraps of memory crop up
from time to time, forcing the patient to insert into his fiction elements he
had not intended to be there.
That is why I resent the Lichberg Myth. It would not annoy me nor
would it diminish my appreciation of Nabokov in the least if he had avowedly or
unavowedly borrowed from minor writers like Lichberg. But I would hate it if I
had to imagine him cretinously constructing his stories around words and
phrases dictated to him by some forgotten piece of trash.
There is not a shred of positive evidence
that Nabokov borrowed anything from Lichberg. It cannot be proven he did, but
neither can it be proven that he did not. What we are left with to untangle the
riddle of the two Lolitas is a weighing of probabilities. It is not impossible
that he encountered Lichberg's book and that he read it. But it is highly
unlikely. He spent sixteen years in Berlin but associated with Germans as
little as possible, with a few exceptions did not look into German books or the
German press, did not attend German plays and lectures. In the letters he wrote
to his wife in those years, he mentions hundreds of friends and contacts, for
at that time he was an ardent networker. There are Russians, Poles, Balts,
Czechs, French, Belgians, Englishmen, Americans—but no Germans except for a few
landlords and an occasional official he could not avoid. There are not even his
German translators. There was no German author or artist he recommended to his
wife. If he had known Lichberg, there most likely would have been a mention,
though not a favorable one. But he simply did not consort with Germans and did
not read German print. Why? He was not interested. He disliked Berlin, Germans
and Germany from the very beginning and, in a most disgraceful period of German
history, came to downright hate everything German. He even disliked the
language as he did the sausage. This is what he wrote as early as 1926, after only
five years in the country: "My darling, among the little side-wishes I can
mention this one—an old one: to leave Berlin, and Germany, to move to Southern
Europe with you. The thought of yet another winter here fills me with horror.
German speech makes me feel sick … there’s also all the squalid vileness, the
coarse tiresomeness of Berlin, the aftertaste of rotten sausage, and the smug
ugliness. You understand all this as well as I do. I’d prefer the remotest
province in any other country to Berlin."
Mind, these were the so-called Golden Twenties, from 1924 to 1929, "which
enjoyed a healthy economic growth and a liberal, creative and experimental
phase in society and arts" (Wikipedia) and when Nabokov's first two novels
were being translated for the first time, into German.
That is why it is likely Nabokov never knew
anything of Lichberg.
PS. I have no personal axe to grind, and I do not enjoy
polemizing against Michael Maar. I admire his rhetoric, I appreciate his high esteem
for Nabokov, I think respectfully of his detective zeal though it runs in a
different direction from mine. When he published his Lichberg Theory in 2004, I
found it misguided and had my say several times, hoping it would be a fad that disappeared
by itself and I would never have to say a word about it again. But since, his
method had become a sport for some time: finding Lichbergisms in all of Nabokov's
works, and extending the search for correspondences to other books he did not
know, a sort of parlor game that seems to be still en vogue. And twelve years
later Daniel Kehlmann's Cicero interview
with him showed that the Lichberg Myth is fully alive and sprouting new fanciful
fabrications. It is so well positioned on the Internet that wherever you are
googling in the vicinity (Lichberg, Eschwege, Maar, Lolita, Nabokov) you will
rarely find an item that does not endorse it. Also, Kehlmann said he felt
cheated by Nabokov people like Boyd or me who keep ignoring Maar's theory which he
obviously considers fascinating and convincing. Sorry. This is a commentary
that does not ignore it.
 Maar, Michael: Was wußte Nabokov?, Frankfurt/Main: Frankfurter Allgemeine, No. 67, 19 March
2004, p. 37.
 Maar, Michael: Lolita und der deutsche Leutnant,
Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 2005. English: The
Two Lolitas, New York: Verso, 2005. French: D'une Lolita à l'autre, Genève: Droz, 2006. Italian: La prima volta di Lolita, Padova: Alet,
 Maar, Michael: Curse of the First Lolita, London: Times Literary Supplement, 2 April 2004,
 Maar, Michael: Lolita's Spanish Friend, London: Times Literay Supplement, 7 May 2004, p. 17.
 Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita, New York: Vintage Books, 1989,
 Maar, Michael: Curse of the First Lolita. London: Times Literary Supplement, 2 April 2004,
 Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita, New York: Vintage International,
1989, p. 17.
 Nabokov, Vladimir: The Waltz Invention, New York: Phaedra,
1966, p. v.
 Book of Revelation,
16:16-21, King James Bible.
 cf. Berliner Adressbuch 1930, Berlin: Verlag August Scherl, 1930.
 Daniel Kehlmann: Who Wrote Lolita First? An Interview with Michael Maar, The Paris
Review/ Blog The Daily, 19 April
 Nabokov, Vladimir: Glory, New York: Vintage, 1971, p. x.
 Caroll, Robert Todd: The
Skeptic's Dictionary, 1994, http://skepdic.com/cryptomn.html
 Nabokov, Vladimir: Letters to Véra, ed. and tr. by Olga Voronina and Brian Boyd, New York: Knopf, 2016, p. 117 (letter of 4 July 1926).