Monday, 25 August 2008
TITLE: LOLITA AUTHOR: Vladimir Nabokov DATE PUBLISHED: 1959 DATE READ: August 2008 NOTES: For as long as I can remember I have resisted reading Lolita. But because it is so often referred to as a “classic” I felt in the end I should put aside my prejudices and tackle it. In many ways it is as I expected it to be. It is not a comfortable read and the unreliable narrator continually beguiles and tricks us. Humbert claims to love Lolita deeply but at the same time reveals the damage he is doing to her. The narrative is made even more intriguing by its attitude to Lolita – neither “innocent” nor “pure”. Nabokov’s language is superb – he revels in word play and the book is filled with literary allusions. The road trip across America is brilliantly seen through an outsider’s critical eye. I can see how Lolita has enthralled and irritated so many readers. It is in turns sad, subversive, funny and creepy.