Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0026157, Sat, 2 May 2015 22:54:27 -0300

RES: [NABOKV-L] sighting
Barrie Karp: "the greatest novel of rapture in modern fiction"? oh,
literary, intellectual rapture. But that's not what the ad means or what
people thought or think still after all this time.
orthamericaliterature ..."many who come to Lolita expecting to be horrified
or titillated will find themselves disappointed"

L. Hochard: But along with experiencing "literary, intellectual rapture" the
readers are horrified and titillated. Is it not hypocritical to deny it? is
it not an essential part of the experience of reading Lolita? didn't Nabokov
want the reader to be horrified because they have allowed themselves to be

Jansy Mello: A good point but I wonder if those questionings aren't mostly
applicable to those male readers who might be attracted by the cover and
advertising blurbs?

Besides, what about the novel's strange inroads into the sufferings of women
like Charlotte Haze, or to the kind of environment that can be altered
almost instantaneously when a child loses his or her parents, being tumbled
from a routine of school, picnics and parties surrounded by friends and
neighbors onto a totally different social situation *? (Lolita's destiny is
also a kind of exile) This and dozens of other points that overflow from
HH's self-centered reports.


*Just a sample, from the end of one chapter and the totality of another
(part I, ch.32 and 33).
"Why can't I call my mother if I want to?"
"Because," I answered, "your mother is dead."

In the gay town of Lepingville I bought her four books of comics, a box of
candy, a box of sanitary pads, two cokes, a manicure set, a travel clock
with a luminous dial, a ring with a real topaz, a tennis racket, roller
skates with white high shoes, field glasses, a portable radio set, chewing
gum, a transparent raincoat, sunglasses, some more garments - swooners,
shorts, all kinds of summer frocks. At the hotel we had separate rooms, but
in the middle of the night she came sobbing into mine, and we made it up
very gently. You see, she had absolutely nowhere else to go.

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