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Playfully perverse in form as well as content, riddled with puns and literary allusions, Nabokov's 1955 novel is a hymn to the Russian-born author's delight in his adopted language. Indeed, readers who want to probe all of its allusive nooks and crannies will need to consult the annotated edition. Lolita is undoubtedly, brazenly erotic, but the eroticism springs less from the "frail honey-hued shoulders ... the silky supple bare back" of little Lo than it does from the wantonly gorgeous prose that Humbert uses to recount his forbidden passion:
She was musical and apple-sweet ... Lola the bobby-soxer, devouring her immemorial fruit, singing through its juice ... and every movement she made, every shuffle and ripple, helped me to conceal and to improve the secret system of tactile correspondence between beast and beauty--between my gagged, bursting beast and the beauty of her dimpled body in its innocent cotton frock.Much has been made of Lolita as metaphor, perhaps because the love affair at its heart is so troubling. Humbert represents the formal, educated Old World of Europe, while Lolita is America: ripening, beautiful, but not too bright and a little vulgar. Nabokov delights in exploring the intercourse between these cultures, and the passages where Humbert describes the suburbs and strip malls and motels of postwar America are filled with both attraction and repulsion, "those restaurants where the holy spirit of Huncan Dines had descended upon the cute paper napkins and cottage-cheese-crested salads." Yet however tempting the novel's symbolism may be, its chief delight--and power--lies in the character of Humbert Humbert. He, at least as he tells it, is no seedy skulker, no twisted destroyer of innocence. Instead, Nabokov's celebrated mouthpiece is erudite and witty, even at his most depraved. Humbert can't help it--linguistic jouissance is as important to him as the satisfaction of his arrested libido. --Simon Leake
Nabokov has such a beautiful writing style that the story and its characters were always with me.
Hard for people to accept the fact that this is more than a story about a young girl and an older man, but this is a love story, and a very strong one at that.
Reading the book, you really get a feel for his obsession and it almost makes you feel a little dirty.
Didn't know what to expect but this is brilliantly written. It's so sophisticated that it is hard to understand it all. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Daniel G. Jordan
Simply put: The reader thinks of Humbert as a good, but tragic, figure because Humbert says he is. The reader readily buys into Humbert's idea of himself even though all evidence... Read morePublished 1 month ago by DAE
I got this for my lovely lady friend, and upon asking her to help rate it, she said: "I enjoyed the first half. I don't feel like rating it right now. Read morePublished 1 month ago by JimmyGrits