[BOOKS] ⚣ Lolita By Vladimir Nabokov – Motyourdrive.co.uk

Lolita chapter 1 Lolita, meaning Lolita, genre Lolita, book cover Lolita, flies Lolita, Lolita 6a3df29f92579 Humbert Humbert Scholar, Aesthete And Romantic Has Fallen Completely And Utterly In Love With Lolita Haze, His Landlady S Gum Snapping, Silky Skinned Twelve Year Old Daughter Reluctantly Agreeing To Marry Mrs Haze Just To Be Close To Lolita, Humbert Suffers Greatly In The Pursuit Of Romance But When Lo Herself Starts Looking For Attention Elsewhere, He Will Carry Her Off On A Desperate Cross Country Misadventure, All In The Name Of Love Hilarious, Flamboyant, Heart Breaking And Full Of Ingenious Word Play, Lolita Is An Immaculate, Unforgettable Masterpiece Of Obsession, Delusion And Lust


10 thoughts on “Lolita

  1. says:

    Between the CoversAfter re reading Lolita , I asked my local bookseller if she d ever read it.She replied firmly, No and I m not going to either He s a paedophile A bit taken aback, I enquired further, Who The author or the character Fortunately, she replied, The character For me, this exchange showed how much Lolita can still sharply divide opinion, even within lovers of fiction.This wasn t the conversation I had been hoping for.I had read Lolita in a couple of days, less time than my work commitments normally allow me, but I found it incredibly easy to read.Even though I was taking notes, even though I was conscious that Nabokov was playing games even if I didn t always know what game , even though there were unfamiliar words I should have looked up, I was constantly drawn towards the conclusion.I wanted to talk to someone about my experience straight away.My cheeks were still flushed, my nerve endings were still tingling, I had experienced the spine thrill of delight , I felt like I had just had sex with a book.Now, not being a smoker, all I needed was some post coital conversation.And there was no one around to converse with.And the book wasn t giving away any of its secrets than it already had.Nor was it going to tell me I had been a Good Reader or that it had appreciated my attentiveness.It was back between the covers, challenging me to start again.Three Act Word PlayAt a superficial level, Lolita is a relatively straight forward novel.Once you know that it concerns sexual relations between 37 year old Humbert Humbert and 12 year old Dolores Lolita Hayes, you just about know the plot.There s a beginning, a middle and an end.A grooming, a consummation, an aftermath.Nabokov makes of his material a three act play.And he does so playfully, seductively, lyrically, charmingly, amusingly, dangerously.To this day, I cannot look at Humbert s initials H.H without pronouncing them in German, Ha Ha , and wondering whether the joke is on us.Beneath the skin of the novel, there is much .There is a whole complex living organism.You can lose yourself within its arms for days, weeks, months, a lifetime.As long as your love of wordplay, your love of words and play, will permit you.Again, at a superficial level, there is an almighty conflict between morality and aesthetics happening between the pages.Whether or not Nabokov deliberately put the conflict there, he put the subject matter there.We, the readers, can supply our own conflict in the way we read his novel.Nabokov knew the subject matter would inflame us, if not our desires, then at least our morals, our sense of righteousness.Morality and aesthetics are intertwined within the fabric of the novel.They embrace each other in one long death roll, just like Humbert Humbert and Clare Quilty.We watch their interaction, open mouthed, open minded, but ultimately they have to be pulled apart or separated.When they are together, they are one.When they are apart, they are each other s double.The Morality of the StoryThere is no doubt that sexual relations between an adult and a minor are not just immoral, but criminal as well.That is an unquestionable fact.From a legal point of view, the motive of the adult is irrelevant to the proof of the crime.The consent of the minor is irrelevant to the proof of the crime.If Humbert had been charged with an offence of sexual relations with a minor, he would have had no legal defence.Any question as to whether Lolita really seduced Humbert would have been irrelevant.In fact, the evidence might not even have been admissible, except potentially as part of the determination of the penalty.In other words, even if it was relevant to penalty, it was not relevant to guilt.Because morality is a social construct that depends on collective endorsement, he had no moral defence either.The personal views of the individual are not really that relevant to society s determination that an act is immoral.The choice of the individual is to comply or offend.Of Traps and CagesHumbert offended not just once, but untold numerous times over two years.He carefully planned his seduction, he set his trap, he caught his prey, even if someone might want to argue that this 12 year old seductress walked voluntarily into the trap.Having freed Lolita from the trap, he imprisoned her in a cage, and repeated his crime.Again, someone could argue that she had plenty of opportunities to flee the cage which she eventually did.But Humbert surrounded Lolita with an elaborate system of self doubt that convinced her that she would become a ward of the state if they were found out.The Legality of the Confession Lolita is written from Humbert s point of view.It is not just a recollection in his mind, it is a formal, written document.He sat down and wrote it in 56 days between his capture in 1952 charged only with the crime of murdering Clare Quilty and his death in prison before his trial could occur.For me, the written document is a fascinating choice of literary device to tell the story.The document becomes a book within a book.While Nabokov obviously wrote it, all that he purports to do is sandwich it between a Foreword and a much later Afterword.This device sets up an interesting relationship between Humbert and the reader.For Humbert, it is akin to a confession or a witness statement.To this extent, what he confesses to is clearly enough to convict him of the crime of murder.However, in it, he also sets out details of crimes that, for whatever reason, he was never charged with.If his lawyer had read the document while he was still alive, he would probably have excised all of the other confessions, because they would have prejudiced his client s case at least with respect to penalty.The Role of the JuryFor the reader, the confession defines our relationship to the events that are described.We are cast in the role of a member of the Jury.This device allows heinous moral and criminal acts to be described and read and examined within a legal and therefore legitimate framework.In a sense, the book becomes a report of sorts on legal proceedings.We become legitimate observers and listeners to something that might otherwise have been prurient and offensive and illegal.Yet, we have to do our duty and participate in the legal process, because it is an important part of the justice system.Even though we have a legitimate interest in participating, I wonder whether we are still voyeuristic.Nabokov has trapped us in a game that persuades us that it is serious, but ends up being just as playful and perverse as the subject matter of the crime.In a way, Nabokov makes us complicit in a crime, if not Humbert s crime, then perhaps our own thought crime.It is also material that, by the time Humbert s confession is read, both Humbert and Lolita have died of natural causes.Humbert speaks from the other side of death.Nobody is alive, nobody can be hurt any than they already have.The Confessions of an Unreliable Narrator The Fox and the Peacock I explored these issues, because I wanted to understand Humbert s motivation for his confession.He is effectively pleading guilty.I don t see any prospect for an insanity defence, even though he seemed to have been in and out of sanatoria at times of crisis.Equally, I don t think that anything he reveals would reduce the penalty for the murder.To do so, he only needed to focus on his concern that Quilty had wronged Lolita in some way even worse than his own actions.But to confess all of these other crimes seems to be counter productive.Similarly, I don t think he was lying about the detail, I think that he was telling the truth, and that he was telling the truth, so that he could be understood, no , no less.Humbert s confession is not just the fiction of a dirty old man, it is not false or fabricated, it is not a mirage.No matter how immoral, no matter how deluded, no matter how selfish and narcissistic, it is his fact, his reality, his truth, his burden, his shame.His actions were the pursuit of a rational man, not an insane one.He was film star handsome, educated, intellectual, talented, witty, charming, calculating, calculated, dangerous.There is no doubt that he was a talented performer, an exceptional player.However, Humbert is not an actor wearing a mask, performing some other fictional character or version of himself.I believe that we are seeing him for what he really is.He is as cunning, tricky, sly as a fox and as refined, elaborate, attractive as a peacock.His decoration, his ornamentation is part of him, his life, his loins, his sin, his soul.In pursuit of Lolita, he was prepared to lie and deceive in order to achieve his goal.I don t believe that he was prepared to lie to us, if only because there was no point in lying.When occasionally he questions the veracity of his own account, it is solely to question the accuracy of his memory.However, he didn t need to tell lies to achieve leniency, he didn t need to tell the truth for some ulterior motive.By confessing to anything, he would only be found guilty of crimes he hadn t been charged with in addition to the charge of murder he had been accused of.There was no point in confessing to anything extra, other than to tell the truth as he saw it.It wasn t going to get him any sympathy or reduce his penalty, if anything, his disclosures would aggravate his penalty.To this extent, I don t consider Humbert an unreliable narrator.I realise that some might respond that paedophiles are habitual liars and can t help themselves.That might well be the case, but I think it is our horror at his crime, our moral judgment affecting our assessment of the whole of the person and shaping our aesthetic response to the book and the character.Perhaps naively, I want to find some good in him.Ultimately, whether or not Humbert s love was morally wrong, I believe that he wanted us to understand his love and what he learned about his love by the end of his story.What We Talk about When We Talk about Humbert s LoveTechnically, the sexual relations between Humbert and Lolita are not an example of paedophilia which is a sexual preference for a pre pubescent.While nothing moral or legal turns on the distinction, the sexual relations constitute hebephilia which is a sexual preference for a person in the early stage of puberty.The name derives from Hebe , the Greek goddess of youth.Her name means youth or prime of life, and she personified both youth and immortality.She was the cup bearer who served nectar to the Olympian Gods to give them everlasting youth.First Part Obsessive Love For me, during the first part of the book, Humbert s love was forbidden, but genuine.It was a transgressive love, in that it was a love of the particular aesthetic form that youth takes between the ages of ten and fifteen.The body is at its most perfect, it has not started to age, to wrinkle, to fill out, to droop, to deteriorate.After that age, the body starts to age, and he finds that physically unattractive as in the case of his first wife and Lolita s mother.OK, we all make choices about our love objects.How can we account for our choices There s no accounting for love.Still, at the heart of this aesthetic approach to love is a fear or disgust at aging and mortality.There is an unreality, a lack of understanding and acceptance of the cycle of life and death, a Peter Pan desire to stay forever young, forever immortal.I also think there is a self love or narcissism inherent in this aesthetic view.I love the young, because I love the perfect form of my own youth.Since my youth, I have fallen, morally and physically.I therefore have to preserve the visage of my own youth.I wonder whether it is only possible to have this view if you have never had your own biological child.Parenthood is an education in the reality of aging.It is an illusion to believe that you can live and defeat it.But tell that to the cosmetics industry.So far I have talked of love in the abstract.In the first part of the book, I struggled to understand Humbert s love and the above is what I came up with.I won t say I had a sympathy for him, but I think I understood him and his love.I even understood his obsessiveness.How many of us, during the first throes of love, trap and oppress our love object, so much so that we are not able to see how oppressive we were, until after the relationship has been consummated, or morphed into something mature or ended However, things started to change at the end of the first part the consummation and into the second part the imprisonment.Of course the love had to be consummated, but as unexceptional as the description of the event was, it highlighted the reality that the first part was a trap for Lolita to walk into.As playful and lyrical as the language might have been, it was sinister in intent.Second Part Captivating Love During the second part, having captured Lo, Humbert makes it clear that his love will last no than three years, to be precise, 1 January, 1947 to 1 January, 1950, which are effectively her 12th to 15th birthdays.After this, statistically at least, Lo will morph out of her nymphet form.So Humbert s love is solely for a definitive phase of her entire life, after which he expects and intends to abandon her.During this phase, Humbert s goal is to maintain Lolita in captivity, to ensure her availability for him alone There is no fairy tale promise of happily ever after or til death do us part in this love action.There is no love or concern for the other, only selfishness and narcissism.I have tried to view the definition of beauty that appeals to Humbert as an aesthetic issue.I have tried to divorce it from morality, so I can understand it better.However, whether I think of it in terms of aesthetics or morality, obsession or love, the fact that it could be switched on and off at such identifiable times turned me against Humbert.He is in control of this feeling called love, at least, he knows with clinical precision when he will return to normality or a state of not loving.His love was a drug that he took too knowingly, he knew precisely when the feeling of the drug would wear off.So, I started to believe that there was no loss of self in his love.Instead, it was a heightened or gross act of narcissism.By extension, there was no sense in which he tried to satisfy Lo personally or sexually.There was no sense of a mutually satisfying relationship or intercourse although to be fair, he doesn t go into the sexual detail, except in terms of physical exertion.However, I got the sense that, when it came to consummating his love, it was just about sticking his dick into his love object.OK, lots of sexual relationships can be reduced to this fundamental penetrative act.Some men see femaleness as no than a receptacle for maleness and its fluid manifestation, the cup into which they spill their seed.However, I started to feel in the second part that Humbert s aim was to defile or despoil the beauty that had appealed to him in the first part even if it was transgressive.And the three year zone of enchantment highlighted to me that Humbert would just go in search of the next beautiful nymphet to stick his dick into.So it became increasingly apparent to me that he was a serial despoiler of beauty, not a genuine lover or admirer of beauty.There is a hatred or disgust hotwired into this love.You don t normally hate the flowers in your vase when it comes time to remove them and throw them in the dustbin.But you get the sense that Humbert would have been disgusted by his former love objects, his objet d obsession, the moment that calendar clicked over.Obviously, this same disgust or loss of interest appears in traditional relationships.It could lie behind the mid life crisis when the guy runs away with the younger woman.It could explain the inability to accept the inevitability of aging, at least in our partner.It could explain we males who still picture ourselves as the immutable 20 year old who deserves a young and nubile partner no matter how soft or old or fat or ugly we have become.So Humbert s love can teach the rest of us something about our own love.Last Part Adult Love Denied I wrote most of my comments about the second part before I had finished reading the last part of the novel.I have to emphasise that most of what turned me against Humbert came from my reaction to his own words.Neither he nor Nabokov held back the material that would make me hate him.Still, I read on, firmly in their constrictive embrace, until chapter 29, when Humbert and the seventeen year old, married and pregnant Dolores meet again.What you think of Humbert and his love, whether or not you think he is lying, depends on your interpretation of the confessions in this chapter there she was with her ruined looks and her adult, rope veined narrow hands and her gooseflesh white arms, and her shallow ears, and her unkempt armpits, there she was my Lolita , hopelessly worn at seventeen, with that baby and I looked and I looked at her, and knew as clearly as I know I am to die, that I loved her than anything I had ever seen or imagined on earth, or hoped for anywhere else What I used to pamper among the tangled vines of my heart had dwindled to its essence sterile and selfish vice, all that I cancelled and cursed You may jeer at me, and threaten to clear the court, but until I am gagged and half throttled, I will shout my poor truth I insist the world know how much I loved my Lolita, this Lolita, pale and polluted, and big with another s child, but still gray eyed, still sooty lashed, still auburn and almond, still Carmencita, still mine This is just one part of Humbert s journey.He realised that he still loved her outside the hebephile zone.However, he still clung to his Lolita, the Lolita of his deluded version of love.Obviously, Dolores is and never was his version of reality, she was her own person, and she declines his love a second time.Only then does he recognise that he did not know a thing about his darling s mind or that a North American girl child named Dolores Haze had been deprived of her childhood by a maniac.Then he quotes an old poet presumably Nabokov himself The moral sense in mortals is the duty We have to pay on mortal sense of beauty In other words, you can t just indulge an aesthetic sense of beauty at the expense of a real human being, it comes attached to and constrained by morality.Morality, taboo and the law work together to protect innocence and beauty from those who would defile and despoil it.He was not above the law, he was no Nietzschian Superman.He was the fool in his own play.The TragedyThere are suggestions that Nabokov saw Humbert s story as a tragedy, that Humbert only realised that he genuinely loved Dolores by conventional standards when it was too late.That might be so, but Humbert only had himself to blame.He was a victim of his own hand, and his tragedy was nothing compared with the one he made Dolores endure, so that he, too selfishly for love, could have his Lolita.


  2. says:

    Once, a long time ago I was an 11 year old girl I did not always appear my age, nor act it I was long and lean and blonde and full of the confidence that only a young child can exude Me, circa 1998 A ripe 11 years old thinking I was to be America s Next Top Model Ha It was around this time that my body began raging with hormones and ideas about boys and love I was introduced to sex at a young age My sister being 4 years my elder thought she should show me the ways of the world And boy did she introduce me to a whole lot Beer, cigarettes, make up, older boys and of course the birds and the bees But I was a weird kid I know, I m a weird adult too Funny how that works. I was always just outside the social realms of the cool kids I wasn t quite nerdy enough for the nerds either I fell somewhere in the middle and made a lot of people uncomfortable There were a select few who understood me and my slightly off personality Me circa 2000 at the age of 13.One thing that can be said is that I was always willing to laugh and to make others laugh I was wild and free I cared little what others thought and went wholly into every endeavor.Me around the age 13 still And yes, I am riding a sled down a slide in the middle of summer because why not It was when I was 14 that a lot in my life changed There was an older guy who hung around my house with my sister s friends and who paid a lot of attention to yours truly He laughed at my corny jokes, smiled at me frequently and I noticed how often he was caught staring at me The long story of it is far too long and complicated.What I will tell you is this he was 22 I was 14 Not quite the age gap that Lolita and Humbert shared but enough of one to piss a lot of people off Growing up in a small town everyone knows everyone and this guy knew my family for a while Nothing but the best intentions We had something special and my parents did what a lot of parents do they tried to advise and deter me They saw they weren t getting anywhere and decided to let it play out for a bit thinking he would get bored and move on.He changed from the sweet and charming guy he was around everyone else to a controlling and abusive asshole when we were on our own He manipulated me into thinking it was my fault that I caused him to react that way That I was flirtatious with that clerk, or hanging out with guys at my sister s house, or putting on a show for everyone as a cheerleader He demeaned me every chance he got and a few times things did get physical It was after he broke my heart by breaking up with me that his true colors really came through He attacked my male best friend who was helping me through the devastation of my first real heartbreak He called me all hours of the night convincing me to sneak off and have sex with him again Which, of course I did because I was completely head over heels in love with him and I thought that maybe, just maybe this would be the time he would take me back Then he broke my soul He took something from me that can never truly be restored The absolute worst night of my life happened at the age of 15 when he was 23 My screams for help and my sobs of pain went unheard that night It is a night I don t talk about, nor will I divulge the details of that night to you What I will tell you is that my spark went out that night Only now, almost 15 years later, have I started to get some of my spark back with the love of a man who deserves it And one who is just as odd as I am Lolita was a tough read for me I read the book with myself in mind What a difficult process that was But it was also cathartic Thanks for giving me that word, Dan I found a tiny bit of solace in this book While Lolita may have thought she knew what she was doing and getting herself into I think it is safe to say she had no understanding of the impact her actions would have I think she sought the love and affection of a father without realizing that sex is not how you love nor how you receive it At first, it may have been a bit of a game for her a conquest of sorts And Humbert, vile bastard that he was, did love her His views and expectations of love and what it means were completely skewed He manipulated every situation to his benefit, ignored her tears, and defiled her at every turn.This book, subject matter aside, is completely brilliant It gives us a view into the mind of a disturbed man One day, I would like to write Lolita s tale and offer her a voice that understands who she is and what she endured.It took a lot of strength and courage to put myself out here as much as I have I d like to thank you all in advance for taking the time to read a small but important chapter in my life It s all a step in the long process of healing.


  3. says:

    Now, this is going to be embarrassing to admit.As we all should know, reading and enjoying a book is largely about interpretation People are not the same and we all view things differently one individual might see a relationship in a book as passionate while another could see it as damaging When characters make bad decisions, some will view it as stupidity and others will view it as an accurate representation of humanity s imperfections Not only that, but time often changes the way one person sees things A teenager does not usually have the same outlook on life and relationships that someone of thirty does, and neither of them have the same outlook as someone of seventy does.So it s time that I admit, when reading this at thirteen, my younger brain actually romanticised Humbert s depravity and saw the relationship between him and Lolita as some tragic love affair It was surprise, surprise Tatiana s review that made me wonder if I d had a screw loose when reading this years ago Her interpretation was so far from what I remembered that I simply had to find time for a re read This summer, I did just that I am going to point the shameful finger of blame at my age when I first read it I was as fooled by Humbert as the young Lolita was.Humbert is not a reliable narrator his declaration that Lolita was responsible for seducing him is repulsive and wrong Because, in the end, an adult has no excuse for having sex with a child, even if they re walking around half naked and offering themselves up adults have a responsibility not to take advantage of children And I now realise this case is no exception This is not some tragic romantic tale about forbidden love it is the story of how a grown man repeatedly raped a young girl The fact that it is so easy to be taken in by him either says something about how brilliant a writer Nabokov is which he is , or how much society still loves to blame the victim.I don t know whether to feel better about my original feelings or be horrified that even the description for the audiobook describes the novel as a love story almost shocking in its beauty and tenderness And I also know that I have no right to criticise other people who saw it in such a way, but I would ask you to read it again, to look beyond Humbert s snivelling and self pity, to see the man who considers murdering a woman so he can be free to have sex with her twelve year old daughter, the man who feels sorry for himself when a young girl doesn t want to have sex with him because she s still hurt from the last time Is that love Maybe it was for a thirteen year old looking through Humbert s perverted eyes, but I m glad I understand it better now.Nabokov has written a brilliant and disturbing novel my opinion of it hasn t changed in that respect I found it surprisingly easy to read and became absorbed quickly even all those years ago His portrayal of Humbert s perverted mind is scarily good, perhaps even too good if people can so easily be convinced to side with a paedophile which is often regarded as the ultimate crime of all, isn t it Even cold blooded murderers go after prisoners who ve messed with kids And, as much as I feel ashamed for being so taken in by Humbert, I know that it s not just me who was fooled Hell, even the GR description proves it But, believe me, Lolita is a victim and no amount of saddening flashbacks to Humbert s past can change that Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Tumblr


  4. says:

    I wasn t even going to write a review of Lolita after finishing it, because, honestly, how many reviews does this classic need That is, until I started pocking around and reading what others have to say about it Many reactions to this book are puzzling to me In this world of Jerry Sanduskys and such, there are still people who find this erotic, who in the end feel compassionate towards the narrator, who think that Lolita was the one who seduced and manipulated poor Humbert Well, I beg to differ Lolita is as erotic as Speak is pornographic As for favorable opinions of Humbert, I guess it is possible this effect can be attributed to Nabokov s mastery of deception Clearly, Humbert still, half a century after the novel s publication, manages to fool readers, and himself, into believing that he is a dedicated, caring lover, wounded and changed by an early tragic romance Only occasionally does the truth bleed through his self delusion Lolita s wistful glance at a child sitting on his father s lap, a simple act that is forever sallied by Humbert s filth, her disinterest in life, her resignation to satisfy him for pocket money and permission to participate in a school play No, Humbert did not fool me into feeling sorry for him On a technical level, Lolita deserves full 5 stars the language, the wit, the world play I don t think I ve ever read anything like this before But emotionally this look into a pedophile s psyche is so disgusting, I can t quite bring myself to rate it so Humbert is so sickly real to me, with his apologies, justifications of his behavior, cowardice, sob stories and bending of reality, how does an author create someone like this How did Nabokov get such an intimate knowledge of someone so despicable


  5. says:

    An old friend used to say that Ulysses was a good book to read but not a good book to read After reading Lolita I understand what he meant.Nabokov was a man obsessed with word games and this book is crammed cover to cover with many brilliant examples Language delighted the man and that certainly comes across What makes this acheivement even amazing was that English was his third or fourth language It is mind blowing that he or anyone could write so fluidly in a foreign tongue If this was enough to make a novel great then this would be one of my top ten.But what if, as a reader, you demand that an author make his characters compelling and the narrative involving I would say then that this book is not for you Humbert and Dolores Haze Lolita only ever to my mind become three dimensional at odd moments here and there He comes off as a mincing, foppish but ultimately unbelievable sort I never bought into him until very near the end when for a few sentences Nabokov makes his remorse credible But it is too late for that I was already annoyed as hell by his rococo narration The character of Lolita as well is shrill and one note through out Only intermittently does she come across as worthy of compassion As for the story, once the seduction takes place it loses a lot of its forward momentum It begins to feel repetitive and only comes alive again when Humbert reaches the very end of his self control and attempts to lash out at one he believes wronged him All in all I think this is a book that could stand to lose about fifty pages There is much to love about it though It could have been truly replusive Nabokov knew that his concept was already off putting and that the execution need not be so Rather than serving up spewing fluids and hungry orifices he treats us to healthy doses of wit and charm Bravo Lolita is obviously literature with a capital L It is a work by a man of letters who happened to be a genius for that reason alone it deserves reading Just don t be surprised that once you re done you don t feel like recommending it to anyone.


  6. says:

    Nymph Nymphet Nymphetiquette Nymphology Nymphism I will never think of 12 year old girls the same way There s a stain on my brain The power of this book is that it s creepy and taboo, but the pedophilia and incest is so damn plausible There s a criminal, upsetting proclivity of the subject matter, but the whole thing is oiled with reason SAY IT AINT SO It s deviant, queer, puerile, and yet ever so human, darkly human, perverted in the corner Lolita lingers in my mind, like an accidental glance at the mid day sun I believe this book will have a permanent effect on me I m thankful, but cautious It s a book that I experienced, not so much as read There are 2 components to this book that radically affected me, the writing and the subject matter.The WritingI have never read another book written quite like Lolita The writing has depth, layer upon layer, strata against strata, texture among texture It s a palimpsest of clues and anagrams and reference The author has absolute command of the English and French and Latin language And yet, among the 4 dollar words and bourgeoisie lit crit, Nabakov plays with the language He invents words He hyphenates them He nymphorizes them It s a gamboling and frolicking story in the rarefied air of an unrestrained, unapologetic and unadulterated polyhistoric writer It s subtle and raw at the same time it s pure Pure, like what happens in your neighborhood behind closed doors, just before an arrest He incorporates a dry, brittle sense of humor even a bit of sass He taunts the reader to follow He dares the reader to like and enjoy Humbert Humbert He pokes you in the eye He scandalizes you, but with a pen that is at once brutal and sensitive, but always careful There are echoes of Joyce and Poe.The story is a retrospective fromfromfrom where What Prison Ostensibly And yet, there hasn t been a trial yet no judgement Nabakov tantalizes you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, to pass judgement on Humbert Humbert yourself Are you willing Or will you just turn your head, wincing The writing is breathless, eloquent, exacting, alluring, inventive, sexy, pleading, conceited, lurid, savory, languid, and slyly self deprecating The author is flagrant, unapologetic, a dandy even He whiffles the writing in so many little stylistic flourishes He writes sentences and paragraphs in ways that I would never have guessed to try It s insanely periodic writing I grab my head akimbo in pure awe of the sentences I peeked at an annotated version for 20 pages at a local big box book store Wow, there s so many levels to this writing, of so much I was ignorant Did you know that under the shocking story of pedophilia, Nabakov is carrying on a paper chase with clues on almost every page Yes, there s a whole other plane of conversation hidden below the written words grammatically, semantically, nymphatically They re buried in the french words, the double entendres, the onomatopoeia, the puns, the metonymy, the symbols, the rhyming, the nymphventions Palimpsest ladies and gentlemen The Subject MatterWe all know Lolita is supposed to be shocking, revolting even, many people not able to finish it Titillating, serious fiction about pedophilia is the clear edge of the literary envelope, something banned in many different communities, even today At this particular time in our democracy, as one of the freest countries in the world, and the most progressive, we champion human rights and place a huge penalty on crimes against minors In this spirit, we are supposed to decry and detest the subject matter in this book, and lambast the author People are arrested and put on community rosters for crimes against minors This 300 page book chronicles a crime against a minor Nabakov makes this an even difficult sexual arrangement for his readers to contemplate, because the 12 year old is an eager, compliant and willing partner to the crime.In Lolita the protagonist is a criminal and his actions unforgivable BUT, if there was any method to his madness, it would have to be this Humans share a cephalization process in common with most vertebrates We developed cerebral hemispheres several million years ago progressing beyond our closest ancestors , and recently than that, humans learned how to use the cerebral cortex to reason, judge, cognate, and intuit But, hundreds of millions of years ago, way down the taxonomic branch, we shared with other vertebrates a common mesencephalon and rhombencephalon, the midbrain and hindbrain Tucked up under our marvelous, modern cortex, the midbrain and hindbrain, called the brain stem, are comprised of the pons, cerebellum, and yes, the MEDULLA OBLONGATA These are ancient, compact organs They are the most animal part of our brains They are in control of the lower order mental functions, the basic mechanistic functions upon which everything else depends You can lose part of your cortex and still function as a human You cannot, however, lose any of your brain stem without losing basic animal function The brain stem is innately integral to life.It s from this midbrain we get reflex, instinct, coordinated movement, sex drive, fight or flight, and a whole range of metabolic regulation for all organs in the rest of the body The impulses the input, the direction, the priority originating in these Mesozoic Era brain organs are powerful The cerebral cortex would be remiss to block an impulse from this deep, ancient brain even if it could stop the impulse in time It s difficult for our human cortex to constrain an electrical input from the animal brain stem What comes from the stem is automatically life sustaining, life preserving, and high priority The cortex usually plays catch up to brain stem messaging.But humans do it all the time It s called reason, judgement, cognition, and conscience It s called being civilized It s keeping in check our vertebrate impulses.Enter Humbert Humbert He suffers an atavistic urge to procreate with young nymphets This is a social problem driven and turbocharged by the midbrain He understands his cortex understands that the culture of the late 1940s and early 1950s find this taboo and perverse, definitely criminal But our poor Humberto doesn t care He reasons with his midbrain, and pleads to us, the jury In the not too distant past within our own Western culture, and certainly in modern cultures of tribal peoples, 12 year old girls are ready to mate Lolita has already menstruated and had sex with a boy her age In many cultures of the world, Lolita would be given up as a wife in exchange for dowries of cattle, land, political favor The whole story, then, brings this American taboo to a moral question And its a question that you modern citizen find uncomfortable, like I do.Even disturbing, Nabakov makes Humby Humberty a caring, loving, protective paternal figure that wishes Lolita the best in life There is no direct, lewd reference to the act of sex nothing salacious nothing pornographic No, that would be too easy to damn Humbo to the devil Instead, Nabakov explores the possibility that real love may exist betwain the tween.I m not too happy to report a phenomenon that happens to men of sexual capacity, always and forever It s an impulse from the midbrain, and it pushes through all that civilization ing It s happened to all men I know because it s been a topic of conversation in many different social settings to which I was eye witness Take for example a young woman of 16 or 17 years From afar I see a body in bikini, I see a tight, athletic form, I see a bronzed body wearing clothes much too revealing, and immediately the midbrain excites the male sex drive Upon closer approach, I m horrified to see that this nubile figure is much too young for me Am I perverted Criminal thoughts I don t think so The midbrain wants to ensure successful mating, and for hundreds of millions of years, sexual mating, to be maximally effective, and to outlast environmental exigencies, was driven down to the earliest age that could conceive offspring So that dastardly urge men experience around cheerleaders, or girls at the beach that look as healthy and trim as fresh gazelles it s not right dammit, and most of us keep it in check, but there it is and it s nagging, and I wish it away But no, I think it will remain and haunt me at times like it haunts all men your men your brothers and your fathers and your lovers I look away in disgust of myself, call myself a dirty old man, whatever it takes to recalibrate my thoughts It happens occasionally that oogling but I keep it in check But if you think society has civilized itself away from this midbrain urge, type into google the words list of sexual predators in my area You will see a Mesozoic characteristic come alive note to self, this paragraph may need to be rewordeda very good chance most people will misconstrue itas if I was pardoning the midbrain urgeor worse, that I pardon Humbert Humbertnot the case at all So that s why at the beginning I said this story was so damn plausible and upsetting and oiled with reason, and darkly human Pedophilia and incest has occurred, is occurring, and will always occur That beast of a midbrain A very important read for 20th century literature.New words incondite, contretemps, swain, alembic, tombal, purblind, dulcet, treacle, edusively, viatic, selenian


  7. says:

    Pushing the boundaries of what acceptable literature can actually be, Lolita is very much a piece of art For many years I kept hearing about this book, the content sounding disturbing and perhaps even slightly fascinating It s a book that s central theme is one of the darkest elements of mankind paedophilia And although such a thing is beyond revolting, it is used to tell the tale of a very lost and very lonely man Humbert is a man to be pitied, pitied because he actually exists A child in a man s body, unable to move on from what was to him the most perfect memory Humbert s obsession with youth takes on the form of paedophilia he becomes attracted to this idea of purity and develops strong sexual feelings towards it Humbert knows he is a monster, but he just doesn t care To him his feelings are perfectly justifiable, natural even He has an incredibly distorted view of the world thus, we see the world through the eyes of an extremely unreliable narrator Perhaps unreliable is the wrong word He reports what he sees with utmost honesty however, his perceptions of these experiences are, well, just wrong As a character study, he is a very worthy subject In the wake of Freudian psychoanalysis, Nabokov s novel is aware of the rising field of psychology Humbert is a walking contradiction He is at times unbelievably arrogant, and at other times he is timid and weak he is passive yet manipulative he derides nothing from life other than a person sense of sexual gratification it s all he lives for He has an exceedingly narrow range of interests he scrutinises everything and remembers the most minor of details He is charming, but at other times completely socially awkward I think it wouldn t be too far a thing to suggest that there are elements of Autism within his personality He is obsessive about things, about his work and his Lolita Ironically, at one point, he expresses succinct knowledge of Freud and at another he demonstrates complete ignorance towards Freud s psychosexual stages of development So who exactly is this Humbert Humbert is lost he is lost in life, and he is lost within himself he is hopeless, looking for any sense of light in his life Unfortunately, this projection of desperation takes on the form of a child He falls in love with Lolita, and what she represents to him But of course it s not real love Lolita is just a sexual object to him not a person So what follows is a story of a man who has convinced himself that his actions are perfectly justified When he takes a twelve year old child in his arms it is perfectly fine to his mind because she comes willing Never mind the fact that he has crafted a situation so that she responds to his advances She is vulnerable and completely alone in the world she has no one to turn to in her moment of grief, and the snake is ready to lunge.Nabokov describes some truly disturbing scenes, though he does so with eloquence bordering on the genius Sounds odd, considering what I have just described The content of the book is vile, Humbert is vile, but in a fictionalised world we have to look beyond that The world is seen through the eyes of Humbert, so everything we see is what he sees and what he experiences Nabokov uses free indirect style to narrate some harrowing scenes, the content is vile but the language is beautiful Again, this is what Humbert experiences As troubling as this book may be, I argue that this has very strong place in the literary world Nabokov explores the mind of a sexual predator and I think as readers we can learn a great deal in the process We can see how the psychological make up of such an individual is formed and we can see what they think and they feel To understand such a man is the first step towards stopping him and recognising this behaviour in other men As a reviewer, I find it of vital importance to read the reviews of others There s a quote on the back of my book from one such review it says, and I quote There s no funnier monster in modern literature than poor, doomed Humbert Humbert I cannot quite describe how angry that quote makes me There is nothing funny about Lolita.This book is terribly serious in content, and Humbert is not a man to be laughed at What we have is a deeply disturbed individual, one confused and drifting through life, cold and utterly broken inside, and he is about to ruin the life of a young girl I don t laugh at this book, I weep at its brilliance.


  8. says:

    LUST AND LEPIDOPTERY Legend of a Licentious Logophile 1 Libidinous linguist lusts after landlady s lass.2 Lecherous lodger weds lovelorn landlady.3 Landlady loses life.4 Lascivious lewd looks after little Lolita.5 Lubricious Lolita loves licking lollipops lambitively.6 Licentious lecturer loves Lolita louchely.7 Lechery lands lusty lamister in legal limbo.8 Lachrymose libertine languishes in lockup.


  9. says:

    ENGLISH Lolita ITALIANO

    After dusty years in my bookshelf, finally I decided to read Lolita I am blown away by this Vladimir Nabokov s work, ironic and dramatic at the same time I am not shocked, nor I have found those disastrous tones of an announced tragedy that I was expecting from this book Indeed Nabokov tells us that this work

    brings along no moral For me a work of fiction exists only if it gives me what I frankly shall call aesthetic pleasure The main character, Humbert, describes in a precise and often sarcastic way his syndrome, i.e the uncontrollable attraction towards those he defines nymphets based on a rigorous combination of age, attitude and style of dress, a lethal mix that can catapult him into an abyss of irrationality Some normal dalliances had in adolescence or adulthood are worthless Something is wrong in our antihero, which plans convenience marriages or improbable assassinations just to satisfy his ecstatic passion Playing the dual role of fugitive and pursuer in a long road trip, the wretched fate of a grotesque man takes place A man that until the end is unable to control his insane and delirious love.

    But still love.

    Vote 8

    Dopo anni di polverosa presenza nel mio scaffale, decido con moderato entusiasmo di leggere questo libro Ironico e drammatico al contempo, quest opera di Vladimir Nabokov mi ha spiazzato Non mi sono scandalizzato, n ho ritrovato quei toni funesti da tragedia annunciata che il titolo Lolita sempre suscitava in me D altronde ci dice Nabokov che la sua opera

    non si porta dietro nessuna morale Per me un opera di narrativa esiste solo se mi procura quella che chiamer francamente volutt estetica.Il protagonista, Humbert, descrive in maniera precisa e spesso sarcastica la sua sindrome, l attrazione irrefrenabile verso coloro che definisce ninfette sulla base di una rigorosa combinazione di et , atteggiamento e modo di vestire, un mix letale in grado di scaraventarlo in un abisso di irrazionalit A nulla valgono esperienze relazionali normali avute in adolescenza o in et adulta Qualcosa non quadra nel bell Humbert, che progetta matrimoni di convenienza o improbabili assassinii pur di soddisfare la sua estatica passione Rivestendo il duplice ruolo di fuggiasco ed inseguitore in un lungo viaggio on the road, si compie il gramo destino di un uomo grottesco, incapace fino all ultimo di dominare il suo a insano e delirante.

    Ma pur sempre a.

    Voto 8


  10. says:

    I once represented a man who had been accused of statutory rape and sexual exploitation of a minor I did it because it is my job and I fundamentally believe that everyone, no matter how heinous the crime alleged, deserves a fair trial.That said, it was the single most unpleasant experience of my legal career and high in the running for most unpleasant all time.In popular culture we are inundated with scenes of crime and violence, we live in a morally relative landscape where to each his own is taken to Bohemian extremes.But sexual attention towards children, in any context, is universally reviled and vilified.Lo Lee Ta.Vladimir Nabokov s 1955 novel is masterful prose Like Joseph Conrad before him, it is understatement to say that his virtuosity in English not his first language literature is impressive.Yes, it is about a pervert, a sex offender, a child rapist A brute A monster.Humbert Humbert names himself such Whether sympathetic chronicler or unreliable narrator I will leave for each reader s interpretation, but either way Nabokov has demonstrated his consummate skill with a character as enigmatic and iconoclastically established in modern literature as to be a shadowy lurker in the black alleys of our most maligned society.Nabokov s narration, told from the prison diary of HH, is erudite, witty and humorous The author s stylish ability is incomparable In spite of the subject matter I had to laugh many times at the way he crafted his narrative, especially his droll word play and numerous double entendres.This is presented as a first person letter, recommended by his lawyer, of his unfortunate attraction to nymphets a girl child between the ages of 9 and 14 and to his particular seduction of his erstwhile step daughter Dolores, whom he affectionately calls Lolita Several times throughout the chronicle the tragi comic protagonist entreats the attention of the gentlemen of the jury He describes his yearlong affair with the child in words that are at times repentant and remorseful, and at other times attempting a justification and explanation of his acts.Humburt, a European migr to our shores, also fills his account, joyriding as they do across America, with an ongoing ironic observation of our culture Nabakov could use this all as an extended allegory for old world attraction with our new world s and customs Lolita, then, would be the central focus of this fascination and a living metaphor for America, at once childlike and alluring.Brilliantly written with a shamefully outrageous subject, once the reader recovers from the shock quotient if the reader recovers this is a wealth of literary genius and style.


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