Real and Unreal Lolitas

Submitted by Brian_Boyd on Fri, 04/05/2019 - 21:38

Here is a link to an article I was asked by the New Zealand Listener to write on Lolita, the #Me-Too world, and Sarah Weinman's The Real Lolita. For the likely audience I couldn't assume much prior knowledge of Nabokov or Lolita

Brian Boyd

Great work, thanks for sharing :)

Was The Real Lolita worth reading at all, despite all that's wrong with it? Any noteworthy positives? Or skip entirely?




The story of Sally Horner is poignant and well-told. But the book reveals nothing about the origins of Lolita. What it does show, if anything, is the naivety about sexual predation on the part of children and parents at mid-century that made moves like Frank La Salle's and Humbert Humbert's possible, and the hold an adult can have over a dependent and abused child even without physical imprisonment.