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The Literary Cold War, 1945 to Vietnam$
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Adam Piette

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748635276

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635276.001.0001

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DEW Line, Uranium and the Arctic Cold War: Ginsberg’s Kaddish and Nabokov’s Lolita

DEW Line, Uranium and the Arctic Cold War: Ginsberg’s Kaddish and Nabokov’s Lolita

Chapter:
(p.74) 3 DEW Line, Uranium and the Arctic Cold War: Ginsberg’s Kaddish and Nabokov’s Lolita
Source:
The Literary Cold War, 1945 to Vietnam
Author(s):

Adam Piette

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635276.003.0004

This chapter examines the Arctic Cold War and its inclusion in Allan Ginsberg's Kaddish and Nicholas Nabokov's Lolita. The first half of the chapter is devoted to Ginsberg, who first wrote the Kaddish in honour of his mother. It looks at how Ginsberg was able to identify semblances between the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line site and the Soviet capital. The second half of the chapter is focused on Nabokov, who sexualized nuclear technology and considered Lolita as Humbert Humbert's uranium (or precious metal) and his source of radiation. It notes that victim and uranium come together in Humbert's controlled fantasies, and features the use of nuclear culture's psychoanalytic structures and dirtiest secrets.

Keywords:   Arctic Cold War, Allan Ginsberg, Nicholas Nabokov, Distant Early Warning Line, Soviet capital, nuclear technology, uranium, nuclear culture, psychoanalytic structures

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