NABOKV-L post 0027761, Thu, 17 May 2018 11:34:03 -0400

Subject
Re: Anne Dwyer on "Why I teach Lolita"
Date
Body
To Brian Boyd:

Your post speaks to a lot of what I feel. The bad of my having been
treated like someone's "little Lolita" in late childhood in the 1950s (no
small thing by far) is a completely different realm from the good of
reading the book *Lolita* for reasons like what you describe, Brian, to the
point that I've rarely explicitly connected the two realms, but did
experience the lifelong pleasures of musing about uncanny magic in
literature (never so much a scholar of that as you and others who post
here, but not knowing as much still has had its pleasures because of the
greatness of that book as a good wonderful thing that did not harm me but
only brought me good and riches). Nothing spoiled my ability to be
enriched and fascinated forever by *Lolita*, and if anything, the bad I
experienced was given some relief by that book and the likes of that book,
beautiful, hilarious, and wrenching. The area of life to more fully address
for me the seriously bad I experienced is a different kind. And yet another
area, as an educator I found what Anne Dwyer wrote interesting and somewhat
useful, at least in bringing up the pedagogical topic and initiating
discussion of it. As a reader, educator, as a person generally in life not
even solely regarding engaging with literature, but overall, I found what
you wrote more edifying. I haven't had a chance to read the Williams paper
you attached, but I shall.

Barrie Karp

On Wed, May 16, 2018 at 5:31 AM, Brian Boyd <b.boyd@auckland.ac.nz> wrote:

> From Brian Boyd:
>
>
> I must confess I turned to Anne Dwyer’s article enthusiastically (even
> before Eric's post), because I find it harder and harder to teach *Lolita*
> to my students, but I was disappointed.
>
>
>
> Part of the problem of teaching *Lolita*, isn’t it, is that many student
> readers nowadays fixate on Humbert’s perversion and evil to the exclusion
> of all else in the novel, as if the fact that Hermann Karlovich was a
> murderer made everything else in *Despair *irrelevant or immaterial or
> uninteresting; yet *Lolita* is so many dimensions ampler than *Despair*.
>
>
>
> But if we *do* stick to Humbert’s predilections and behavior, and think
> in terms of the harm the book could cause, being about those predilections
> and that behavior from the inside, one of the strongest claims on behalf of
> *Lolita*, surely, is that sex abuse therapists find it so valuable, so
> insightful, so genuinely therapeutic, such a clear way of showing the
> psychology of an abuser. See the attached article by Lucia Willians, and
> note her references to the work of Sokhna Fall.
>
>
>
> Another way of looking at *Lolita* is in terms of content. It deals with
> things that we value so much, including desire and love and beauty, in ways
> that are outrageous. But it is the cost of having capacities for desire and
> love and an appetite for beauty that they *can* go wrong, and that’s what
> makes their not going wrong so precious, and why we should be attuned to
> false claims to these positives.
>
>
>
> Another way of looking at the *Lolita *problem is in terms of the
> challenge to readers, the benefit for readers. One of the most important
> things in human life is freedom, including freedom from manipulation, from
> unfair and false persuasion and pressure, and from oppression. Humbert
> tries to manipulate and pressure us as he has manipulated Lolita. We need
> to learn to resist. *Lolita* is the supreme exercise in literature of the
> challenge of reading against the character narrating. That’s partly a
> technical challenge for the author, and a “technical” and moral challenge
> for readers. Why would we want a fugitive and cloistered virtue?
>
> ​
>
>
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU> on behalf of
> Eric NAIMAN <naiman@BERKELEY.EDU>
> *Sent:* Wednesday, 16 May 2018 8:12 a.m.
> *To:* NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
> *Subject:* [NABOKV-L] Anne Dwyer on "Why I teach Lolita"
>
> For those of us who teach or admire *Lolita,* Anne Dwyer (Pomona College)
> has published an eloquent defense of the novel.
>
> *https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2018/05/14/teaching-lolita-still-appropriate-opinion
> <https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2018/05/14/teaching-lolita-still-appropriate-opinion>*
>
> Google Search
> <http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&hl=en%0A>
> the archive
> <http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&hl=en%0A>
> Contact
> <dana.dragunoiu@gmail.com,nabokv-l@utk.edu,shvabrin@humnet.ucla.edu>
> the Editors <nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu> NOJ
> <http://www.nabokovonline.com>
> ___
> Zembla <http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm> Nabokov Studies
> <https://muse.jhu.edu/journal/257> (Journal)
> Policies <http://web.utk.edu/%7Esblackwe/EDNote.htm>
> ___
> Options <http://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=NABOKV-L> Chercheurs
> Enchantés (French VN Society)
> <http://www.vladimir-nabokov.org/association/chercheurs-enchantes/73>
> AdaOnline <http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/>
> ___
> Dieter Zimmer's Site <http://www.d-e-zimmer.de/index.htm> NSJ Ada
> Annotations <http://vnjapan.org/main/ada/index.html> L-Soft Search the
> archive <https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A0=NABOKV-L> VN
> Bibliography Blog <http://vnbiblio.com/>
>
> All private editorial communications are read by both co-editors.
>
> Google Search
> <http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&AMP;hl=en%0A>
> the archive
> <http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&AMP;hl=en%0A>
> Contact
> <dana.dragunoiu@gmail.com,nabokv-l@utk.edu,shvabrin@humnet.ucla.edu>
> the Editors <nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu> NOJ
> <http://www.nabokovonline.com>
> ___
> Zembla <http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm> Nabokov Studies
> <https://muse.jhu.edu/journal/257> (Journal)
> Policies <http://web.utk.edu/%7Esblackwe/EDNote.htm>
> ___
> Options <http://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=NABOKV-L> Chercheurs
> Enchantés (French VN Society)
> <http://www.vladimir-nabokov.org/association/chercheurs-enchantes/73>
> AdaOnline <http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/>
> ___
> Dieter Zimmer's Site <http://www.d-e-zimmer.de/index.htm> NSJ Ada
> Annotations <http://vnjapan.org/main/ada/index.html> L-Soft Search the
> archive <https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A0=NABOKV-L> VN
> Bibliography Blog <http://vnbiblio.com/>
>
> All private editorial communications are read by both co-editors.
>

Search archive with Google:
http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&HL=en

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,dana.dragunoiu@gmail.com,shvabrin@humnet.ucla.edu
Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
Nabokov Studies: https://muse.jhu.edu/journal/257
Chercheurs Enchantes: http://www.vladimir-nabokov.org/association/chercheurs-enchantes/73
Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com
AdaOnline: "http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/
The Nabokov Society of Japan's Annotations to Ada: http://vnjapan.org/main/ada/index.html
The VN Bibliography Blog: http://vnbiblio.com/
Dieter Zimmer Website: http://www.d-e-zimmer.de/index.htm
Search the archive with L-Soft: https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A0=NABOKV-L

Manage subscription options :http://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=NABOKV-L