Péter Tamás’s (Eötvös Loránd University) paper, “The Attraction of Montages: Cinematic Writing Style in Nabokov’s Lolita,” examines the role of Nabokov’s use of cinematic narrative devices in Lolita. By incorporating cinematic elements into his prose, Nabokov creates an intermedial text which impacts the reader in two ways. On the one hand, Humbert composes montage-passages divert the audience’s attention from Lolita’s suffering. On the other hand, his verbal montages imitate Eisenstein’s cinematic technique of “intellectual montage.” Humbert admits that he cannot grasp their meaning, but Nabokov hides important clues in these passages and invites the reader to find and understand them. Despite the importance of cinematic elements, Nabokov also counterbalances his novel’s kinship with film lest Lolita seem to succumb entirely to film form. Thus, while Nabokov makes creative use of the influence of cinema, he also asserts the autonomy of literature.
The Attraction of Montages: Cinematic Writing Style in Nabokov’s Lolita
Periodical or collection
Nabokov Online Journal