By Julian W. Connolly
(Studies in Russian and Slavic literatures, cultures and historical past)
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Extra resources for A reader's guide to Nabokov's Lolita
At the age of seventeen, to escape the constriction of village life, in whose order his illegitimacy and his mother's widowhood gave him a low place, he enlisted in the Troupes coloniales and eventually saw service in French Indochina prior to Colonel de Castries' defeat at Dienbienphu in 1954, by which time he had risen to the rank of sergeant. In battle he found himself possessed of a dead calm that to his superiors appeared commendable. In truth it was peanut behavior. Out of the tightest spot, even as when the hordes of General Giap outnumbered the defenders four to one and the Asiatic abhorrence of black skins was notoriously lethal to the troupes noires, Ellellou had faith that the pull of fate would rescue him, if he be numb enough, and submit to being shelled.
July, E. Jefferson Murphy, Olivia Vlahos, J. W. Nyakatura, Alfred Guillaume, Paul Fordham, Colin Turnbull, Alan Moorehead, Leda Farrant, Jacques Berque, Roland Oliver, and J. D. Fage. For geography, I used the National Geographic magazine, children's books, Beau Geste, and travellers' accounts from Mungo Park to Evelyn Waugh, from Rene Caillie to John Gunther. Two out-of-the-way volumes of especial value were The Politics of Natural Disaster: The Case of the Sahel Drought, edited by Michael H. Glantz, and Islam in West Africa, by J.
This arbitrary and amorphous land descended to him from the French, this slice of earth with its boundaries sketched by an anonymous cartographer at the infamous Berlin Conference of 1885 and redrawn more firmly as a military zone for occupation a decade later, its pacification not complete until 1917 and its assets to this day mortgaged to La Banque de France and its beautiful brown thin people invisible on every map-what was it? The historic kingdom of Wanjiji had expanded and contracted like the stomach of some creature that does not eat for centuries; by the time the Gauls, at de Gaulle's mystical bidding, abandoned colonial rule and cast about for an agency wherewith to rule covertly, Wanjiji had shrunk to a name and a notion of infinite privilege in the head of one ancient prisoner.