In Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita, right at the end of the 10th chapter, there is the following line that managed to perplex me:
[T]he vacuum of my soul managed to suck in every detail of her bright beauty, and these I checked against the features of my dead bride. A little later, of course, she, this nouvelle, this Lolita, my Lolita, was to eclipse completely her prototype. All I want to stress is that my discovery of her was a fatal consequence of that ''princedom by the sea'' in my tortured past. Everything between the two events was but a series of gropings and blunders, and false rudiments of joy. Everything they shared made one of them.
Now, it's the last sentence in this fragment that bewilders me. What did Nabokov (or Humbert, for that matter) want to say with this construction? That everything the two events (the encountering of a young girl in a princedom by the sea in his youth, and the stumbling upon Lolita now) shared brought them together and merged them into one? Or that everything that sprawled between these two extremes contributed to the making of one of them? I confess, this phrase confuses me, and this book frustrates me. What does it actually mean?