Last Summer At The Golden Hotel PDF Free Download

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Deb C

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Newcastle upon Tyne United Kingdom
Γυρίσαμε στο Golden Days για να γιορτάσουμε την 5η μας επέτειο. Παντρευτήκαμε στο σπα της Καλλιθέας, η δεξίωση του γάμου μας έγινε στη βεράντα, όπως και το γαμήλιο πάρτυ. Δε θα γράψω κριτική για εκείνο το ταξίδι, γιατί μάλλον θέλω να το ξεχάσω, εξαιτίας του τότε ιδιοκτήτη του ξενοδοχείου. Όταν διάβασα στο TripAdvisor ότι ανέλαβε ο Γιάννης, αποφασίσαμε να πάρουμε το φέρι από το Μαρμάρι και να έρθουμε για λίγες μέρες, να συναντήσουμε παλιούς φίλους. Ήταν μάλλον η καλύτερη ιδέα, που είχαμε τα τελευταία χρόνια. Όλα ήταν όπως τ' αφήσαμε. Ο Γιάννης και η Μαρία κάνουν καταπληκτική δουλειά και το ξενοδοχείο είναι καθαρό και φιλόξενο, όπως πάντα. Πιστεύω ότι από εδώ και πέρα θα χωρίζουμε τις διακοπές μας στη μέση και θα περνάμε τις μισές στο Μαρμάρι και τις υπόλοιπες στα Αφάντου, που, παρ' όλες τις αλλαγές, εξακολουθούν να είναι η πεμπτουσία του ελληνικού χωριού. Η φιλοσοφία του είναι να καλοδέχεται τον επισκέπτη με ανοιχτές αγκάλες κι όσο καιρό είσαι εκεί,ζεις σαν Έλληνας. Σας ευχαριστούμε όλους, που δε μας ξεχάσατε, μας καλωσορίσατε όπως πάντα κι αφήσατε τις κακές στιγμές να ξεχαστούν. Ελπίζουμε να σας δούμε όλους του χρόνου.…
Mike V
Thessaloniki Greece
Μείναμε στο ξενοδοχείο 6 μέρες. Οι υπηρεσίες είναι πολύ ικανοποιητικες για ξενοδοχείο δύο αστεριών. Το προσωπικό είναι εξυπηρετικό, πολύ φιλόξενο αλλά και φιλικό. Σίγουρα θα ξανα πάμε και του χρόνου..
Lauren M
Belfast United Kingdom
Me and my boyfriend arrived here with no expectations - we just wanted a cheap holiday in the sun. The hotel, while basic, is brilliant craic. Yiannis, Maki and Jimmy are always on hand and can't do enough for you. We were so sad to leave.
Louise M
Armagh United Kingdom
Having been and stayed in golden days twice before I am returning in July with my wee girl, as said in other reviews the rooms are basic as you get what you pay for but they are clean and tidy. Maria and Yannis are lovely people who can't do enough for you, as are all of the Greek people I had the pleasure of meeting. We stayed two weeks each time we went and have never witnessed what others have said in other reviews about the hotel, or the people working their. Honestly could not fault golden days at all and can't wait to return. Much love from Ireland xxx
Woody E
Germany
Have recently had a holiday with family members at this hotel. Rooms were basic as you'd expect with a 2 star hotel but were cleaned every day with fresh towels. Manager and his staff were great and made sure we had a fantastic time whilst there. We had a number of meals at the hotel which were all cooked well and highly enjoyable. In my opinion it was a 2 star hotel with a 5 star service by the staff. We met a number of people who stay regular at the hotel and they had nothing but praise for the place and after 2 weeks there i can see why. A karaoke night was put on which was fun, got off to a slow start but after a few drinks really got going. I'm naturally a shy person but managed to get up and do a couple of performances and loved it, nellie the elephant was mentioned a few…
Clare H
Hungary
First time in Rhodes.hotel was basic but very clean every day lady came in to clean the rooms.staff are very friendly and helpful I certainly would recommend this hotel it's so quiet maybe holiday season might be different.
Paula H
Manchester United Kingdom
Myself and my husband have just returned from a week at this hotel/apartment and although the rooms are dated with self catering facilities which consist of a sink, fridge and 2 rings which you couldn't really cook on the rooms are very clean and we found the beds very comfortable. The beds were made and fresh linen and towels supplied most days. The complex is small but has a nice pool and garden area which is also kept clean and looked after. The restaurant area is well set out and the staff George, Zac and the owner Yannis are really lovely and helpful. There was another waiter however I don't know his name but he was always polite and a fast service. The chef is Dimitri and his food is amazing. You can walk into the village for food, however, I would not bother as the food…
Theshirecaza
The Shire United Kingdom
Firstly what did you pay? We were pleased with the hotel. The staff were nice and friendly and attentive and worked hard on very hot days. The hotel is 700 metres from a pebble beech which is well worth the walk - slightly up hill on return. Or you can catch a the fun train to beach and get it later in for the return. The breakfast is very good, we didn't eat here during the evening so not sure on other dishes. The room was well furnished with a small SC kitchen but we don't SC. but you could cook a basic meal. The balcony is a good size and private. We looked on to the pool which was nice as it has early morning sun then shade which is cooler for the room. There is a main road outside which does get noisy. But if the patio doors are shut this is not a problem. Afandou is a…
annettef895
Edenbridge United Kingdom
Arrived here 31/8/16 for 2 weeks never stayed in 2 star accommodation before here just wanted somewhere to stay while visiting relatives staff very helpful can't do enough for you room very large with hot fast shower room had fridge kettle/ single beds and loads of storage space only down side no washing line/airer to put towels and swim wear doesn't look very nice using the balcony pole to hand washing lowers the tone of the place.
cjmagee
Liverpool United Kingdom
A last minute booking for a summer holiday. The Golden Days is a bit of a gem- it's a two star hotel but the service is five star. The hotel is situated at the top of Afandou's main road and is a lovely 25 minute walk from the beach. The rooms are simple- clean and functional (with aircon available at a reasonable price)- with a small shower/bathroom. Our room had a balcony with a view of the supermarket but still was great value for money.The hotel has a small pool and an outside terrace that acts as a bar/restaurant. You can see all this from the pictures on Tripadvisor but what the pictures can't show you is the friendliness and service from Ioannis and his team- they work incredibly hard and nothing is too much trouble; something that many better starred hotels could learn…
Pea P
United Kingdom
Been to this hotel about a dozen times over the years.not a bad word to say about the place.the staff are hard working and will help with any problems that you have..2 star hotel and still some people have complaints about the place..you get what you pay for at the end of the day..been going to Afandou since 1994 love the village and the people..if you want night life,English bars,Sunday dinners,and x factor this is not the place for you.
toast3524
Hotel
Great Yarmouth United Kingdom
Just took a week away and booked at Golden Days. Had a really enjoyable relaxing week at the hotel. Staff, Yanni, Maria, Jim and Makis were very attentive, the hotel was clean and the food was good. If I ever return to stay at Afantou I will stay at Golden Days.
David H
Glasgow United Kingdom
Stayed 5 nights at the Golden Days Hotel as part of a island hopping trip around the Greek islands.
Pros: Low cost, clean rooms; nice pool and never struggled for a sunbed; friendly staff; 10min walk to Afandou Kentro bus stop for exploring Rhodes Town and Lindos (Afandou is central between both)
Cons: Noisy even after music stops at midnight (needed ear plugs for sleeping); air con €5 extra per night; cannot take any food or drink, including water, bought outside the hotel to the pool area
If you can live with the cons for me it was good value for money
Dolly
Saltash United Kingdom
The good- nice looking bar and reception area, excellent clean pool, proximity to big air-conditioned supermarket, storage space in bedrooms was ample, rooms are clean and maid comes everyday if you want.
The bad- hard sunbeds, not adjustable, self-catering facilities poor although we only get it for fridge. Air-conditioning in our room was hardly working although the A/c in the kids room was fine. Staff are adequate but not particularly helpful when I asked about bus information.
The ugly- not much really although there are loads of quite unnecessary notices about charges incurred for staining towels etc. A bit off-putting.
Mark S

Last Summer At The Golden Hotel Pdf free. download full

Plymouth United Kingdom
Wow, what can I really say about this hotel.
Yes it's cheap, (Big tick in the box)
Yes it's cheerful, (Even bigger tick in the box)
Yes it fulfils everything you could possibly want on a Greek holiday, (Which is all you really want from a hotel)
Yiannis and Maria are the most accommodating hosts, attentive and take care of anything you may need.
I've been here many times over the years and truly enjoy myself every time we go.
I look forward to many more trips to visit my friends at the Golden Days hotel
Vhkaged
Rosyth United Kingdom
My partner and I spent 3 weeks here with the owners Taking over running the hotel. From start to finish it was amazing. The hotel is what you’d expect for the price but it’s clean, tidy and a lot of effort being put into modernising it. We have stayed here a few times but with Kiriakos, Koula, Stefanos and Michalis we felt right at home. Can’t fault them for making us welcome.
Yes the hotel is needing a refurb but it is being done bit by bit.
Some guests mainly from Israel and Russia didn’t quite get the fact that you need to pay for things like air con etc and were more of a nuisance and rude, but it’s cheaper than a lot of hotels on the island and not only that but the cost of staying there is also low priced.
Will be back for sure.
Gemma H
Edimburg United Kingdom
Have been visiting this hotel for passed 5 years but Afandou for 19 years (on and off). This year the owners have stopped renting out and running it themselves.
The entire family and staff are welcoming, friendly, funny and all round great people.
Its basic but what more do you need? I don't go on holiday to spend it in the room - it's exactly what I need: clean and somewhere to put my head at night.
Great snack menu to help those lazy pool days!
Can't wait to come back next year!

Last Summer At The Golden Hotel PDF Free Download

Trj
Lancaster United Kingdom
We have been visiting Afandou for 18 years and Golden Days for around 14 years.
The 'new' owners, Koula and Kiriagos, made us feel extremely welcome.
They are making improvements daily - there are now safes in the room - such an improvement from the 'trays' in the reception area.
The rooms and hotel were spotless and the cleaning ladies did a great job.
It is a 2 star hotel, so the rooms are basic but you know this when you book. We felt that the service and cleanliness this year was the best we had experienced in recent years there and this was down to the new 'team'.
We will return!
ps - fyi there is a new tourist tax of 50 cents per night
Jayne And Richard
United Kingdom
I have just returned from 2 week stay with my partner. We stayed here 4 years ago, my partner came to area 2 years ago and visited here often.
When we arrived we was disappointed to know that the previous management had left but soon got to know the lovely family running it.
Rooms basic but cleaned every day. A/C a must at 5 euro a day, well worth it. Drinks cheap and not measured!!
Pool area clean and tidy. No need to get up at silly o clock for a lounger. Chilled and relaxed holiday.
We were invited to a meal with the family of hotel on our last night and had authentic Greek cuisine.
It seems to be a family orientated hotel.
Stephos was friendly and poured my partner great drinks and made some interesting cocktails, we truly felt at home there.
Lots of people complained while we were there but for the money it really can’t be faulted.
Not much entertainment, but the owners are just working out what people want. Had a great BBQ night for 10 Euro each which was superb.
Lazy cafe next door does amazing coffee for 2 Euro.
Four seasons restaurant does great food and even better service. Meals are huge if you get the smallest pizza 2 adults will easily be full.
All in all 2 * rated hotel but with everything considered we give 5*. Already looking to return September.
Deanembley
United Kingdom
Fantastic little hotel.... with an amazing FAMILY to match!! We arrived knowing no one and left as f
Considering we arrived at 4am in the morning, we were welcomed very warmly and showed to our room by michalis, who is there every night, through the night a real gentleman. and a great pianist too!!
Are room was perfect for our stay and very clean this was all due to the hard work of Johanna and her team who made our rooms new everyday!!!
Koula and Kyriogos are the hosts of this great little hotel... They were extremely friendly and always have a smile and willing to help at any moment, even to the point when I chose to be very awkward and order a breakfast that wasn't on the menu... where they directed me to the kitchen to put on my chef whites and help Auntie with a breakfast dish she was unsure of.... a totally fun morning !! So please request the COSTAS DEANOS EGGS!! lol
We spent most nights at the hotel, more importantly with the family who welcomed us to there table every night, where we just laughed every evening with MAMA..... 'Offer her a Cornetto and she's your Greek language teacher for the holiday'... However we did try and teacher her some Cockney English which was absolutely hilarious.. she's such a fun, loving character. Watch out for PAPA too, as he'll have you BBQ-ing with the brother in-law.... 'Watch out for the brother he's a little grumpy but so but hilarious with it'.
Stefanos and pandalis our the barmen with skills.... keep an eye on them as there handy with the shots... you may wake a few mornings hungover... you now know why. LOL
Also you got to checkout Stefanos;s little Greek feet he'll have you up down sideways and nearly on the floor with his Greek dancing.... He's a top MUCCA and you'll be ZORBA-ING your way through your holiday.
If I can describe this hotel in a word.... It would be FAMILY!!!!
A great holiday and some great memories made this June.... Cant wait to return!!
Mike P
United Kingdom
Super friendly hotel! With amazing staff and ok facilities
This is a lovely hotel, which I would happily visit again, the staff and amazing and made us feel so at home, It has a great family-friendly pool and everyone has a share and share alike attitude so you can leave your inflatables for others and know it’s ok to use theirs which is really great!
Free WiFi although not advertised so not sure it a usual thing!
It’s basic but then it’s also quite cheap so for the price I think it’s a bargain!
100% recommended
Ianscotland
United Kingdom
Have just returned from a 2 week holiday as part of a large group who all enjoyed the experience. It is true that some of the facilities in the rooms are a bit dated/limited but they are kept clean and the owners are in the process of making improvements. There are now safe deposit boxes and televisions in the rooms and free WiFi. A/c available for a charge. All in all good value accommodation.
The pool area and gardens are well maintained and even with our large crowd there seemed to be space for everyone!
The owners Koula and Kyriakos and the rest of family and staff were extremely friendly and helpful and the atmosphere relaxing.
The hotel itself is next door to a large supermarket and a short walk to bars, cafes and restaurants. Also a 20 minute walk to Afandou beach. If you rent a car Rhodes Town, Lindos, Faliraki and Tsambika beach all within easy reach and public buses also available from Afandou. Afandou is perhaps not for everyone - it is a working Greek village that also caters for tourists rather than a typical tourist resort so you will experience real Greek life with friendly locals.
So all in all if you have reasonable expectations from a 2 star hotel and prepared to make the most of what Afandou has to offer it’s a great place to stay.
David
United Kingdom
Low cost, good location for bus trips to rhodes town and Lindos, nice pool areas
Helle
Denmark
Dejligt som altid derfor kommer jeg altid tibage

Lolita
Vladimir Nabokov
to Vera
Contents
Foreword
Part One
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Part Two
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36
Vladimir Nabokov on a Book Entitled Lolita
Foreword
'Lolita, or the Confession of a White Widowed Male,' such were the two titles under which the writer of the present note received the strange pages it preambulates. 'Humbert Humbert,' their author, had died in legal captivity, of coronary thrombosis, on November 16, 1952, a few days before his trial was scheduled to start. His lawyer, my good friend and relation, Clarence Choate Clark, Esq., now of the District of Columbia bar, in asking me to edit the manuscript, based his request on a clause in his client's will which empowered my eminent cousin to use his discretion in all matters pertaining to the preparation of 'Lolita' for print. Mr. Clark's decision may have been influenced by the fact that the editor of his choice had just been awarded the Poling Prize for a modest work ('Do the Senses make Sense?') wherein certain morbid states and perversions had been discussed.
My task proved simpler than either of us had anticipated. Save for the correction of obvious solecisms and a careful suppression of a few tenacious details that despite 'H.H.'s own efforts still subsisted in his text as signposts and tombstones (indicative of places or persons that taste would conceal and compassion spare), this remarkable memoir is presented intact. Its author's bizarre cognomen is his own invention; and, of course, this mask--through which two hypnotic eyes seem to glow--had to remain unlifted in accordance with its wearer's wish. While 'Haze' only rhymes with the heroine's real surname, her first name is too closely interwound with the inmost fiber of the book to allow one to alter it; nor (as the reader will perceive for himself) is there any practical necessity to do so. References to 'H.H.'s crime may be looked up by the inquisitive in the daily papers for September-October 1952; its cause and purpose would have continued to remain a complete mystery, had not this memoir been permitted to come under my reading lamp.
For the benefit of old-fashioned readers who wish to follow the destinies of the 'real' people beyond the 'true' story, a few details may be given as received from Mr. 'Windmuller,' of 'Ramsdale,' who desires his identity suppressed so that 'the long shadow of this sorry and sordid business' should not reach the community to which he is proud to belong. His daughter, 'Louise,' is by now a college sophomore. 'Mona Dahl' is a student in Paris. 'Rita' has recently married the proprietor of a hotel in Florida. Mrs. 'Richard F. Schiller' died in childbed, giving birth to a stillborn girl, on Christmas Day 1952, in Gray Star, a settlement in the remotest Northwest. 'Vivian Darkbloom' has written a biography, 'My Cue,' to be published shortly, and critics who have perused the manuscript call it her best book. The caretakers of the various cemeteries involved report that no ghosts walk.
Viewed simply as a novel, 'Lolita' deals with situations and emotions that would remain exasperatingly vague to the reader had their expression been etiolated by means of platitudinous evasions. True, not a single obscene term is to be found in the whole work; indeed, the robust philistine who is conditioned by modern conventions into accepting without qualms a lavish array of four-letter words in a banal novel, will be quite shocked by their absence here. If, however, for this paradoxical prude's comfort, an editor attempted to dilute or omit scenes that a certain type of mind might call 'aphrodisiac' (see in this respect the monumental decision rendered December 6, 1933, by Hon. John M. Woolsey in regard to another, considerably more outspoken, book), one would have to forego the publication of 'Lolita' altogether, since those very scenes that one might ineptly accuse of a sensuous existence of their own, are the most strictly functional ones in the development of a tragic tale tending unswervingly to nothing less than a moral apotheosis. The cynic may say that commercial pornography makes the same claim; the learned may counter by asserting that 'H.H.'s impassioned confession is a tempest in a test tube; that at least 12% of American adult males--a 'conservative' estimate according to Dr. Blanche Schwarzmann (verbal communication)--enjoy yearly, in one way or another, the special experience 'H.H.' describes with such despair; that had our demented diarist gone, in the fatal summer of 1947, to a competent psycho-pathologist, there would have been no disaster; but then, neither would there have been this book.
This commentator may be excused for repeating what he has stressed in his own books and lectures, namely that 'offensive' is frequently but a synonym for 'unusual; and a great work of art is of course always original, and thus by its very nature should come as a more or less shocking surprise. I have no intention to glorify 'H.H.' No doubt, he is horrible, he is abject, he is a shining example of moral leprosy, a mixture of ferocity and jocularity that betrays supreme misery perhaps, but is not conducive to attractiveness. He is ponderously capricious. Many of his casual opinions on the people and scenery of this country are ludicrous. A desperate honesty that throbs through his confession does not absolve him from sins of diabolical cunning. He is abnormal. He is not a gentleman. But how magically his singing violin can conjure up a tendresse, a compassion for Lolita that makes us entranced with the book while abhorring its author!
As a case history, 'Lolita' will become, no doubt, a classic in psychiatric circles. As a work of art, it transcends its expiatory aspects; and still more important to us than scientific significance and literary worth, is the ethical impact the book should have on the serious reader; for in this poignant personal study there lurks a general lesson; the wayward child, the egotistic mother, the panting maniac--these are not only vivid characters in a unique story: they warn us of dangerous trends; they point out potent evils. 'Lolita' should make all of us--parents, social workers, educators--apply ourselves with still greater vigilance and vision to the task of bringing up a better generation in a safer world.
John Ray, Jr., Ph.D.
Widworth, Mass.
August 5, 1955
Part One
1
Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.
She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.
Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.
2
I was born in 1910, in Paris. My father was a gentle, easy-going person, a salad of racial genes: a Swiss citizen, of mixed French and Austrian descent, with a dash of the Danube in his veins. I am going to pass around in a minute some lovely, glossy-blue picture-postcards. He owned a luxurious hotel on the Riviera. His father and two grandfathers had sold wine, jewels and silk, respectively. At thirty he married an English girl, daughter of Jerome Dunn, the alpinist, and granddaughter of two Dorset parsons, experts in obscure subjects--paleopedology and Aeolian harps, respectively. My very photogenic mother died in a freak accident (picnic, lightning) when I was three, and, save for a pocket of warmth in the darkest past, nothing of her subsists within the hollows and dells of memory, over which, if you can still stand my style (I am writing under observation), the sun of my infancy had set: surely, you all know those redolent remnants of day suspended, with the midges, about some hedge in bloom or suddenly entered and traversed by the rambler, at the bottom of a hill, in the summer dusk; a furry warmth, golden midges.
My mother's elder sister, Sybil, whom a cousin of my father's had married and then neglected, served in my immediate family as a kind of unpaid governess and housekeeper. Somebody told me later that she had been in love with my father, and that he had lightheartedly taken advantage of it one rainy day and forgotten it by the time the weather cleared. I was extremely fond of her, despite the rigidity--the fatal rigidity--of some of her rules. Perhaps she wanted to make of me, in the fullness of time, a better widower than my father. Aunt Sybil had pink-rimmed azure eyes and a waxen complexion. She wrote poetry. She was poetically superstitious. She said she knew she would die soon after my sixteenth birthday, and did. Her husband, a great traveler in perfumes, spent most of his time in America, where eventually he founded a firm and acquired a bit of real estate.
I grew, a happy, healthy child in a bright world of illustrated books, clean sand, orange trees, friendly dogs, sea vistas and smiling faces. Around me the splendid Hotel Mirana revolved as a kind of private universe, a whitewashed cosmos within the blue greater one that blazed outside. From the aproned pot-scrubber to the flanneled potentate, everybody liked me, everybody petted me. Elderly American ladies leaning on their canes listed toward me like towers of Pisa. Ruined Russian princesses who could not pay my father, bought me expensive bonbons. He, mon cher petit papa, took me out boating and biking, taught me to swim and dive and water-ski, read to me Don Quixote and Les Miserables, and I adored and respected him and felt glad for him whenever I overheard the servants discuss his various lady-friends, beautiful and kind beings who made much of me and cooed and shed precious tears over my cheerful motherlessness.
I attended an English day school a few miles from home, and there I played rackets and fives, and got excellent marks, and was on perfect terms with schoolmates and teachers alike. The only definite sexual events that I can remember as having occurred before my thirteenth birthday (that is, before I first saw my little Annabel) were: a solemn, decorous and purely theoretical talk about pubertal surprises in the rose garden of the school with an American kid, the son of a then celebrated motion-picture actress whom he seldom saw in the three-dimensional world; and some interesting reactions on the part of my organism to certain photographs, pearl and umbra, with infinitely soft partings, in Pichon's sumptuous La Beaute Humaine that I had filched from under a mountain of marble-bound Graphics in the hotel library. Later, in his delightful debonair manner, my father gave me all the information he thought I needed about sex; this was just before sending me, in the autumn of 1923, to a lycee in Lyon (where we were to spend three winters); but alas, in the summer of that year, he was touring Italy with Mme de R. and her daughter, and I had nobody to complain to, nobody to consult.
3
Annabel was, like the writer, of mixed parentage: half-English, half-Dutch, in her case. I remember her features far less distinctly today than I did a few years ago, before I knew Lolita. There are two kinds of visual memory: one when you skillfully recreate an image in the laboratory of your mind, with your eyes open (and then I see Annabel in such general terms as: 'honey-colored skin,' 'thin arms,' 'brown bobbed hair,' 'long lashes,' 'big bright mouth'); and the other when you instantly evoke, with shut eyes, on the dark innerside of your eyelids, the objective, absolutely optical replica of a beloved face, a little ghost in natural colors (and this is how I see Lolita).
Let me therefore primly limit myself, in describing Annabel, to saying she was a lovely child a few months my junior. Her parents were old friends of my aunt's, and as stuffy as she. They had rented a villa not far from Hotel Mirana. Bald brown Mr. Leigh and fat, powdered Mrs. Leigh (born Vanessa van Ness). How I loathed them! At first, Annabel and I talked of peripheral affairs. She kept lifting handfuls of fine sand and letting it pour through her fingers. Our brains were turned the way those of intelligent European preadolescents were in our day and set, and I doubt if much individual genius should be assigned to our interest in the plurality of inhabited worlds, competitive tennis, infinity, solipsism and so on. The softness and fragility of baby animals caused us the same intense pain. She wanted to be a nurse in some famished Asiatic country; I wanted to be a famous spy.
All at once we were madly, clumsily, shamelessly, agonizingly in love with each other; hopelessly, I should add, because that frenzy of mutual possession might have been assuaged only by our actually imbibing and assimilating every particle of each other's soul and flesh; but there we were, unable even to mate as slum children would have so easily found an opportunity to do. After one wild attempt we made to meet at night in her garden (of which more later), the only privacy we were allowed was to be out of earshot but not out of sight on the populous part of the plage. There, on the soft sand, a few feet away from our elders, we would sprawl all morning, in a petrified paroxysm of desire, and take advantage of every blessed quirk in space and time to touch each other: her hand, half-hidden in the sand, would creep toward me, its slender brown fingers sleepwalking nearer and nearer; then, her opalescent knee would start on a long cautious journey; sometimes a chance rampart built by younger children granted us sufficient concealment to graze each other's salty lips; these incomplete contacts drove our healthy and inexperienced young bodies to such a state of exasperation that not even the cold blue water, under which we still clawed at each other, could bring relief.
Among some treasures I lost during the wanderings of my adult years, there was a snapshot taken by my aunt which showed Annabel, her parents and the staid, elderly, lame gentleman, a Dr. Cooper, who that same summer courted my aunt, grouped around a table in a sidewalk cafe. Annabel did not come out well, caught as she was in the act of bending over her chocolat glace, and her thin bare shoulders and the parting in her hair were about all that could be identified (as I remember that picture) amid the sunny blur into which her lost loveliness graded; but I, sitting somewhat apart from the rest, came out with a kind of dramatic conspicuousness: a moody, beetle-browed boy in a dark sport shirt and well-tailored white shorts, his legs crossed, sitting in profile, looking away. That photograph was taken on the last day of our fatal summer and just a few minutes before we made our second and final attempt to thwart fate. Under the flimsiest of pretexts (this was our very last chance, and nothing really mattered) we escaped from the cafe to the beach, and found a desolate stretch of sand, and there, in the violet shadow of some red rocks forming a kind of cave, had a brief session of avid caresses, with somebody's lost pair of sunglasses for only witness. I was on my knees, and on the point of possessing my darling, when two bearded bathers, the old man of the sea and his brother, came out of the sea with exclamations of ribald encouragement, and four months later she died of typhus in Corfu.
4
I leaf again and again through these miserable memories, and keep asking myself, was it then, in the glitter of that remote summer, that the rift in my life began; or was my excessive desire for that child only the first evidence of an inherent singularity? When I try to analyze my own cravings, motives, actions and so forth, I surrender to a sort of retrospective imagination which feeds the analytic faculty with boundless alternatives and which causes each visualized route to fork and re-fork without end in the maddeningly complex prospect of my past. I am convinced, however, that in a certain magic and fateful way Lolita began with Annabel.
I also know that the shock of Annabel's death consolidated the frustration of that nightmare summer, made of it a permanent obstacle to any further romance throughout the cold years of my youth. The spiritual and the physical had been blended in us with a perfection that must remain incomprehensible to the matter-of-fact, crude, standard-brained youngsters of today. Long after her death I felt her thoughts floating through mine. Long before we met we had had the same dreams. We compared notes. We found strange affinities. The same June of the same year (1919) a stray canary had fluttered into her house and mine, in two widely separated countries. Oh, Lolita, had you loved me thus!
I have reserved for the conclusion of my 'Annabel' phase the account of our unsuccessful first tryst. One night, she managed to deceive the vicious vigilance of her family. In a nervous and slender-leaved mimosa grove at the back of their villa we found a perch on the ruins of a low stone wall. Through the darkness and the tender trees we could see the arabesques of lighted windows which, touched up by the colored inks of sensitive memory, appear to me now like playing cards--presumably because a bridge game was keeping the enemy busy. She trembled and twitched as I kissed the corner of her parted lips and the hot lobe of her ear. A cluster of stars palely glowed above us, between the silhouettes of long thin leaves; that vibrant sky seemed as naked as she was under her light frock. I saw h