We know the girl and her story, just as we know the title. But the author was Heinz von Eschwege, whose tale of Lolita appeared in 1916 under the pen name Heinz von Lichberg, forty years before Nabokov’s celebrated novel took the world by storm. Von Lichberg later became a prominent journalist in the Nazi era, and his youthful work faded from view. The Two Lolitas uncovers a remarkable series of parallels between the two works and their authors—too many for coincidence.
With an introduction by best-selling German novelist Daniel Kehlmann, Maar’s extraordinary literary detective story casts new light on the making of one of the most influential works of the twentieth century. This new edition includes an interview with the author, conducted by Kehlmann, in which Maar reveals that since writing the book he has discovered what might be the final piece of the puzzle.
“Maar’s discovery is so astonishing that you would need to have firmly opted for ignorance to maintain it was unimportant.”
“Maar is a fine literary sleuth, and his discovery of what may be an ur-Lolita means we will never again look on Nabokov’s masterpiece in quite the old light.”