''Lolita'' and Colin Quinn made the news in the book world this week

By Alexandra Jacobs and Matthew Flamm
Updated October 30, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST
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Lo's Diary

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NYMPHET MANIA Lolita‘s woes are far from over. Vladimir Nabokov’s beleaguered classic — shunned as obscene upon its publication in 1955, made into two hotly criticized movies, and (oh, the indignity!) ranked behind The Great Gatsby on the Modern Library’s list of this century’s 100 greatest novels — is now bracing itself against the imminent English-language publication of Lo’s Diary, in which Italian scrivener Pia Pera reworks the story from the nymphet’s point of view. On Oct. 8, the writer’s son, Dmitri Nabokov, filed suit in Manhattan federal court to prevent Farrar, Straus & Giroux’s planned July ’99 release of Pera’s novel (court papers take pains to point out that FSG president Roger Straus was among those who rejected Nabokov’s masterpiece so many years ago). ”There certainly is a long tradition of books that tell the story of a prior book from another character’s point of view. [But] in all those other instances, the book was already out of copyright,” says Nabokov’s lawyer, Peter L. Skolnik. (Lolita‘s copyright expires in 2030.) FSG lawyer Leon Friedman retorts that the Supreme Court’s 1994 decision in favor of 2 Live Crew, who borrowed extensively from Roy Orbison’s song ”Oh, Pretty Woman,” set a precedent for ”a more expansive sense of ‘fair use’ than existed in the past.”

COLIN CARD Angela’s Ashes meets…SeinLanguage? Saturday Night Live Weekend Update anchor Colin Quinn, who recently starred on Broadway in his one-man show, An Irish Wake, has just made a rumored mid-six-figure deal with Delacorte to write his memoirs. The as-yet-untitled book is due next fall.

Lo's Diary

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  • Book
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  • Pia Pera

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