Nov. 3rd, 2015

frescadp: (Hutch & Starsky)

I. Reading Lolita in Bay City

Marz and I clicked through another Starsky and Hutch scene in Hutch's Bay City [LA] bungalow. (Episode: "Kill Huggy Bear", 1975)

"What's that book on his table?" Marz said. "It's . . . I think it's Lolita!"

We googled Lolita covers, and there it was--the 50¢ Crest Giant edition, published in 1959, five years after the novel's first appearance; so Hutch's copy is sixteen years old. Maybe he bought it years ago and is only now reading it, or re-reading it?

[Onscreen, the "–lita" on the curled-up book cover is clearer than in this screencap.]

Why is Hutch reading Lolita?

No doubt he's professionally interested in sexuality that leaves "a sinuous trail of slime".*

I suspect Hutch is personally interested in sexual difference too--cf. his Toulouse-Lautrec painting of two women in bed. He looks like the clean-cut one, but it seems like he's repressing a lot. (Starsky seems more straightforward [not to say "straight"] to me.)

Hutch, I contend (in my view of him as NOT coming from an upper-middle class background), might also be making up for lost time by reading his way through the Modern Library's "100 Best Novels of the Twentieth Century" (from 1998, but he'd have had some such list).
Lolita is no. 4.

II. More '70s Poster Art

The poster on Hutch's wall above Lolita is never in focus, but I had a vague sense it was a bicycle poster.

I'd forgotten, but they were in vogue when I was a teenager.
[Being reminded is one of the pleasures of watching this show.]

Sure enough--I googled images of vintage bicycle posters, and it's a 1970s reprint of a poster from the late 1800s for Clement Cycles of Paris. Hutch seems to have a small thing for French fin de siècle art.

The Esty seller says:
"From A 1973 Collection Of Old Bike Posters.
The book was produced on the 100th anniversary of the invention of the bicycle.
It was also the 100th anniversary of color lithography which made mass produced color posters possible. "
* Re slime, from Lolita, II.3, by Vladimir Nabokov:

"We had been everywhere. We had really seen nothing. And I catch myself thinking today that our long journey had only defiled with a sinuous trail of slime the lovely, trustful, dreamy, enormous country that by then, in retrospect, was no more to us than a collection of dog-eared maps, ruined tour books, old tires, and her sobs in the night — every night, every night — the moment I feigned sleep."


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