Originally I was going to do a review Lolita but halfway through I realized my thoughts were all over and it was more of me rambling than anyhing else so I thought a discussion post is much better. Grab a cuppa and let’s talk about Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.
In case you are not familiar with the book here is a Goodreads Synopsis:
Humbert Humbert – scholar, aesthete and romantic – has fallen completely and utterly in love with Lolita Haze, his landlady’s gum-snapping, silky skinned twelve-year-old daughter. Reluctantly agreeing to marry Mrs Haze just to be close to Lolita, Humbert suffers greatly in the pursuit of romance; but when Lo herself starts looking for attention elsewhere, he will carry her off on a desperate cross-country misadventure, all in the name of Love. Hilarious, flamboyant, heart-breaking and full of ingenious word play, Lolita is an immaculate, unforgettable masterpiece of obsession, delusion and lust.
A little backstory; Lolita is a book I had been wanting to read for years even though I had an idea of what it’s about so I had no problem buying it, and to be honest I was really hyped to read it. So you can imagine how fast I opened this book when I got it.
I found Lolita so uncomfortable and unsettling from the word go and I could only take it in small doses so I ended up taking too long to finish it. What do you do when you want to enjoy a book but the subject matter is off putting? Because that was a major struggle for me as the book’s major theme is pedophiliaNabokov is a brilliant writer, a master in the art of writing prose and I was in awe. I now understand why people read him. His language is rich and almost lyrical and it made me wonder what he intended with this book, the storyline, because I couldn’t find any hidden meaning. He bares it all for us, every single sick twisted thought for you to do with the information whatever you want. He created a monster, Humbert, and he goes to extreme lengths to show us just how bad he is. This made me wonder, is portraying something the same as condoning it? Nabokov manipulates us with his beautiful chilling words and then you remember he is talking about a 12 year old child and you just become repulsed.
I tried to keep in mind that the book is fiction but then again, that was very difficult since we have a disturbed pedophile whose actions are not questioned or reprimanded. His obsessive behavior is scary and his thoughts from the first page till the last gets more and more shocking. The worst part? Humbert is self-aware. He knows it’s wrong, he knows how dangerous his thoughts are but he doesn’t care because in his mind he is in love and that’s it and that broke me as much as it made me angry. He ruins the life of a little girl and only feels remorse because he has lost her and can’t have her anymore.
Do you give it 5 stars for its beautiful prose or 1 star for the terrible characters? I clearly understand why it’s a controversial book but it doesn’t make it any better. I believe it was a master piece in it’s time, a wonderful peice of literature, but now? In this age? It definitely couldn’t pass as such.
Anyway, all this to say Lolita is a confessional- like book from a disturbed obsessive pedophile and Nabokov knows how to elicit volatile emotions from a person. It’s me. I am that person.
Have you read a similar book to Lolita? What were your thoughts?
If you have read Lolita, what did you think about it? I’d love to have a discussion with you in the comments below.
Happy weekend! ❤️ See you on my next post. 🙂