Vladimir Nabokov

Balestrini, Nassim W., and Silke Jandl. Lolita and Lana in the Age of Internet Memes. 2016

Bibliographic title
Lolita and Lana in the Age of Internet Memes
Periodical or collection
Nabokov Online Journal
Periodical issue
v. 10
Publication year
The essay “Lolita and Lana in the Age of Internet Memes” by Nassim W. Balestrini (Karl Franzens University in Graz, Austria) and Silke Jandl (Centre for Intermediality Studies in Graz, CIMIG) examines the aesthetic strategies Lana Del Rey uses to integrate allusions to Nabokov and particularly to Lolita—as taken from Nabokov’s novel and from the film versions by Kubrick and Lyne--into the media content surrounding her music and artistic personae. We argue that Del Rey’s variegated adaptations of Lolita images confirm central tenets of Wiggins and Bowers’s conceptualization of the Internet meme as a genre that emerges according to specific patterns of creation and distribution. Thus, we show how Del Rey’s artistic engagement with the cultural legacy of Lolita confirms the persona’s status as an omnipresent, but strikingly chameleon Internet meme. While this meme continues to draw attention to the fictional character, it also demonstrates the figure’s broader cultural impact, which clearly transcends the original literary ambitus of the novel’s character.