Nabokov and Balthus: The Erotic Imagination

Jeffrey Meyers at Salmagundi:

Nabokov and Balthus were intellectually and emotionally connected by their lifelong interest in Lewis Carroll and Edgar Allan Poe, and by their hatred of Sigmund Freud. Carroll epitomized the surprisingly large group of sexually repressed, dysfunctional and miserable English writers in the Victorian age, including Carlyle, Ruskin, Swinburne, Pater, Hopkins, Wilde and Housman. Carroll was a pseudonym, like Balthus and V. Sirin. A Cheshire cat appears in Alice in Wonderland and in many pictures by Balthus. At Cambridge, Nabokov translated Alice into Russian, and he describes Lolita as “a half-naked nymphet stilled in the act of combing her Alice-in-Wonderland hair.”
Carroll, whose temperament was morbid and taste perverse, liked to photograph half-naked pubescent girls. His provocative image of the beautiful Alice Liddell, the model for the fictional Alice, foreshadowed Balthus’ paintings and was the visual representation of Lolita.

more here.