Fin: ‘Lolita’


by Vladimir Nabokov

  • Date finished: Aug. 16
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Year: 1955
  • Project: n/a
  • Reading List: Summer 2012
  • Quick thoughts upon finishing: Man, I hate when I forget to write reviews immediately after finishing a book. Because then THIS happens. I know I had many masterful thoughts about Lolita while reading it. But now it’s been more than a week since I finished and I can’t remember a darn thing. Oh life is too hard. Anyway, let’s see …
  • Well, first a random, un-literary thought: when you’ve watched as much Law & Order SVU as I have, it’s hard to imagine a story about a man taking advantage of a child without thoughts of “How fast would Benson and Stabler be on this guy’s ass?” But I do think that’s somewhat important because this is what we’re dealing with: yes, it’s a classic but it’s also about sexual abuse. That’s nothing if not slightly disturbing.
  • That being said, I can see how many critics note that Lolita is truly a “love story” — Humbert Humbert does have obsessive, all-consuming love for Lolita. And there are moments when it’s easy to forget Lolita is a child. Lolita is also known for its unreliable narrator and subjective narrative, and I had a good time trying to wrap my mind around the story and pick apart its structure. Good literary exercise. In fact, the writing is at times mesmorizing and I think I’d reccomend it to any good bookworm. I mean, it is a classic after all.
  • Awards: Lolita was on Time’s list of best English-language novels from 1935-2005 and was fourth on Modern Library’s 1998 list of 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century.

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