Nabokov worked on the screenplay of Lolita in California.

At his first cocktail party, at producer David Selznick’s, Nabokov met a rangy, craggy-looking man sporting a deep suntan. “And what do you do?” he asked. “I’m in pictures,” John Wayne modestly replied. At another party Nabokov met an attractive brunette to whom he spoke French, and told her she had a wonderful Paris accent. “Parisian, hell,” Gina Lollabrigida replied. “It’s Roman French.”


He did not always put his foot in it — at one party Marilyn Monroe took quite a liking to him — but conscious of being out of step, he soon dropped out of the cocktail party circuit.

From Brian Boyd’s Vladimir Nabokov: The America Years