Friday, February 21, 2014

Nabokov's LAUGHTER IN THE DARK: A Nymphet's Agenda

The author of the 60 Years of Challenge warns men that they should avoid seeking affection from the opposite sex and that female affection is rarely sincere. The only exception would be when the affection comes from one's mother, which is why Royal advises men to let the phrase, "I love you," go into one ear and out of the other. According to an article in Vanity Fair, when Barack Obama was a graduate student at Columbia University, after his [white] love interest warmly said, "I love you," he coldly replied, "Thank you." The reason for this behavior is that (some) women have an agenda (i.e. specific reason) for being with men. In addition, Alain De Botton relates in How Proust Can Change Your Life that Proust advised men to generally avoid having friends, both male and female. Royal and Robert Beck agrees with Proust.

And Albert Albinus, the protagonist, in Nabokov's Laughter in the Dark would probably agree with these principles as well. Albinus, a "well groomed" middle-aged Berlin based art critic with "his pleasant smile and mild blue eyes", made the mistake of falling in love with 16-year-old (nude) model Margot Peters. Margot had a lovely baby face, a slim figure, and hazel eyes. Albinus, who had dreamed of finding a very young mistress, was naive and assumed that the nymphet's affection was sincere, when she really wanted to use him to help her advance her acting career. She wanted him to leave Elisabeth, his dear wife who "[...] as a small girl, had been secretly in love with an old actor who used to visit her father [...]". Margot didn't want Albinus to leave his wife, because she wanted him exclusively, but because she wanted exclusive access to his wealth. ("[H]e had been left a soundly invested fortune by his father.")

To make matters worse, Margot had an affair with 30-year-old Axel Rex, a New York City based painter, who took the teen's virginity before she met Albinus. Rex's behavior towards Margot was the antithesis of Albinus'. Rex, who was "ugly" and had "longish lusterless black hair, protruding cheekbones, and twinkling eyes", abandoned Margot after he took her virginity and he never told her that he loved her, yet she was madly in love with him.

Interestingly, Albinus and Rex gave good examples of how to seduce a nymphet. I wrote in The Allure of Nymphets that there are a variety of ways to seduce a nymphet, but arguably the preferred methods are Open (i.e. seduce the nymphet into opening or approaching you.) and Arranged (i.e. a family member or "friend" introduces you to a nymphet). Royal wrote that a man looses his power when he approaches a woman. He wrote "The King of Spain is all powerful in Spain. He directs and enforces his powers from his castle. If he goes to France, he's powerless. He must let the French people come to Spain in order to rule and govern them."

What Albinus did to meet Margot was the method that Robert Beck recommended, which is stalking. He said in Whitaker's Iceberg Slim The Lost Interviews, "I would advise not to pursue but to stalk, first of all. Or, I say not to chase, but to stalk." And that is exactly what Albinus did to Margot. For example, one evening, as a past-time, he strolled into "the velvety darkness" of a small cinema and noticed the "painfully beautiful face" of Margot. "After three days he could not ignore the memory of her no longer." And he returned to the cinema, but failed "to catch her eye". "He went there a third time firmly resolved to smile at her." Eventually, Margot approached Albinus.

Rex used a combination of the Arranged and Open methods. For example, he met Margot through Frau Levandovsky (After leaving her parent's home, and with good riddance, Margot moved into a small servant's room in Levandovsky's flat.) and after the arranged introduction, he stalked the nymphet i.e., "[H]e came [the] next day, and then again and again." Subsequently, Rex didn't ask Margot to move into a flat that "[...] he had rented for her the day before [...]" He commanded her to, "Pack up your things quick and come along." And she "[...] yielded with pleasure and zest [...]" after they "[...] crossed the threshold [...]" 

Furthermore, Rex was very charming (e.g. "He did not speak to her much [...]") and he was mysterious (e.g., "She could not guess what he was doing in Berlin or who he really was."). Royal wrote that "A pimp's main source of power is his anonymity [...] A pimp does and says only what needs to be said and done." Wisely, Rex left Margot "[...] only because he was afraid of becoming too fond of her." Coincidentally, the author of The October Man Sequence advises men to avoid being "[...] inferior in a relationship - you should at the least be equal."

In contrast, Margot was able to almost immediately find out everything about Albinus - his address, phone number, and how much wealth he possessed. Albinus even went out of his way to "[...] interest her in his past, telling her of his childhood, his mother whom he remembered but vaguely, and his father [...]"

Margot was so distressed after Rex abandoned her that she spent the night with two Japanese men. They gave her 350 marks for her services. (The nymphet only asked for 200.) Subsequently, she met "[...] a fat old man with a nose like an overripe pear [...]" After he paid for her room until November and gave her enough money to purchase a fur coat, "[...] she allowed him to stay for the night." He died shortly after they met. And then she met Albinus, eventually was re-introduced to Rex at one of Albinus' parties, where the chit and Rex reunited to the ultimate dismay of Albinus.

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