Just one stylistic note: avoid using the same words too close together in a paragraph unless you wish to make a comparison.
Under the subheading “LOOK STUFF UP”, I wrote:
Para ONE: When you see embedded links in Wikipedia, ALWAYS click on them; read that article and click on its links, then go back to the first and continue reading.
Para TWO: If you read a sentence that seems difficult and clumsy, rephrase what it says for yourself.
Para THREE: Assertions beg to be questioned - always.
Para FOUR: If something is said, find out the source. Where did that statement come from, on what basis was it said.
[Notes to 4: "Rabbi Elazar said, in the name of Rabbi Chanina: "He who says something in the name of the one who said it brings redemption to the world, as it is written: "and Esther said to the king, in the name of Mordechai" (Megillas Esther 2:22: 'vatomer Ester la-melekh beshem Mardokhai')."]
Para FIVE: If you are going to say something, be prepared to defend it.
Para SIX: Only idiots make unfounded assertions.
Para SEVEN: It is better to make a few points well, than many badly.
One of the addressees was Steffy Chou, who blogs here: http://infectiousasian.blogspot.com/
She took the instruction to heart, and today applied it to a post by The Bray of Fundie, aka Hamavdil.
She didn't have particularly much to say about what he wrote, but instead researched a number of Yeshivishe locutions that he used.
Here is how she explained one word: "Bren = Fire. A burning. What Ada and Van felt in a book by Nabokov. Here it is connected to Bais Yakov girls, and totally clean."
Nice little fourteen year old girls are NOT supposed to know about that! It was bad enough that she read Lolita - that must have been a traumatic experience.
[Last year she reviewed the book, in five parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, plus a prolegomena.]
Since then I have detected traces of Nabokovian phrasing in her blogposts. In some ways that is disturbing, but it also provides an absolutely delicious frisson; reading the little minx is a 'not-quite-guilty' pleasure.
But if she also read Ada, then she is in way over her head!
"Ada tells the life story of Van Veen, and his lifelong love affair with his sister Ada. They meet when she is eleven (soon to be twelve) and he is fourteen, believing that they are cousins (more precisely: that their fathers are cousins and that their mothers are sisters), and begin a sexual affair. They later discover that Van's father is also Ada's and her mother is also his. "
Stuff like that is far too depraved for a fourteen year old.
Farewell to innocence, it isn't even suitable for an adult!
I think I was twelve when I read it.
That alone should warn people.
Lolita and Ada were for many years my favourites among Nabokov's oeuvre. Since weaning myself away from perversions, I have preferred his memoir (Speak, Memory), which is considerably cleaner.
The nictitating grasses he saw in Chapter 7 still wink as much at him as they do at my mind's eye, however the lepidopterism that permeates much of his personal life from his youth onward is not my affliction.
Still, Nabokov is not suitable for a teenager!