View Poll Results: Who Do You Think Is The Victim Of The Book?

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  • Dolores Haze

    31 33.70%
  • Humbert Humbert

    8 8.70%
  • Neither

    18 19.57%
  • Both Are Victims

    35 38.04%
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Thread: Lolita

  1. #1

    Lolita

    I am currently reading Lolita, by Nabokov. Everytime I tell someone that, they make a disgusted face at me (because Lolita is about a pedophile). I think that Nabokov was a genius of language, and he writes so eloquently that it is easy to ignore his main character's socially deviant behavior. I especially like the pseudonyms that "Humbert Humbert" uses for himself and the other characters of the story...they're genius! Anyone else read this? Any comments? I'd love to talk about it.
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
    --Aristotle

  2. #2
    Oh come on, really, has no one read Lolita?!? It's an awesome book...well then, this is now a book recommendation.
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
    --Aristotle

  3. #3
    Drama Queen Koa's Avatar
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    I read it when I was 16 hiding it inside the cover of another book so my mum couldnt find out i was reading such things....

    I found it veeeery slooooow....I don't remember much else...

    Nabokov was Russian, moved to the USA and wrote in English...he was perfeclty bilingual and translated his own works...he was a teacher and wrote essays...I find all this interesting, especially the linguistic side of it.

    This is what comes to my mind now...i might come back with further thoughts after a bit of brainstorming (and of sleep)
    dead on the inside, i've got nothing to prove
    keep me alive and give me something to lose

  4. #4
    It's interesting to me that people view this book as 'dirty'. It raises so many questions, and really got me thinking. It wasn't long before I didn't even care that Humbert Humbert was a pedophile...becuase that was no longer the point of the book. I agree, it does move a little slowly, but I found Nabokov's writing to be so fluid and eloquent that I wouldn't have cared what he was writing about, or if the book had a plot at all.
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
    --Aristotle

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by waxmephilosophical
    It's interesting to me that people view this book as 'dirty'. It raises so many questions, and really got me thinking. It wasn't long before I didn't even care that Humbert Humbert was a pedophile...becuase that was no longer the point of the book. I agree, it does move a little slowly, but I found Nabokov's writing to be so fluid and eloquent that I wouldn't have cared what he was writing about, or if the book had a plot at all.
    That's the genius of Nobakov, I suppose (though I haven't read 'Lolita'). In 'A Clockwork Orange', the protagonist, Alex, rapes a woman in front of her husband, steals their money, kills another woman and then gets sent to state jail ('staja') for fourteen years. All the time, I was amazed by how sorry I felt for him because here was this horrible person commiting unspeakable strocities, and yet it was because he was able to choose violence over reason that you sincerely admired him . . . and it was when he was finally subdued into pacifism by his conditioning that you really started to feel as though more wrong had been done to him than he had ever done to others. I am familiar with the general theme of 'Lolita', and it sounds like Nobakov assembled a very paradoxical story along the same lines as Burgess some years later.

  6. #6
    I agree. I'm familiar with A Clockwork Orange, but haven't read it yet...it's on my summer reading list though. Another reason that I was sucked into feeling sorry for Humbert is that he never once rationalizes what he does or how he feels. It would be pointless for someone to psychoanalyze him, because he could point out his deficiencies and the reasons for them better than any psychiatrist could ever do. He knows exactly why he is the way he is, and makes no excuses for it.
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
    --Aristotle

  7. #7
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    hi,
    I'm new to the forums.
    I read Lolita last year, I was amazed at some of the comments people gave about 'should be reading that kind of thing, especialy at work'.
    I don't really understand why it's often put forward as a piece of erotic literature - or indeed 'dirty' I can only assume its only branded so by people that haven't actually read it.
    As for the writing style, it's superb. I wonder if the fluidity and elaborate nature of the language he uses comes from the fact that English wasn't his first tongue and he was in some way proving a point by writing in a far better manner than most native English speakers ever could.
    I must get around to reading some more Nabokov - can anyone suggest a good next title of his, I had 'Bend Sinister' in mind.
    incidentaly despite the comments about Lolita, noone at work so much as gave me a second glance when I read 'Venus in Furs' and 'the Delta of Venus' in the coffee room, perhaps I should read them out loud,

    Home time for me,
    Downer

  8. #8
    Drama Queen Koa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Downer
    incidentaly despite the comments about Lolita, noone at work so much as gave me a second glance when I read 'Venus in Furs' and 'the Delta of Venus' in the coffee room, perhaps I should read them out loud,
    Try "Lady Chatterley's Lover". I'm reading it now and it's very explicit (it was censored too).
    It' s just that Lolita has a FAME of being 'dirty', probably more than other books because the girl is so young... and society fears this kind of thing, even if they're just written in a novel...
    dead on the inside, i've got nothing to prove
    keep me alive and give me something to lose

  9. #9
    Windthatshakesthebarley Black Flag's Avatar
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    I've never read Lolita, though it sounds interesting. I liked Lady Chatterly's Lover, though I can't stand the female characters in Lawrence's books. They either dislike sex but "graciously" sacrifice themselves to their mates or they like sex but then change their minds about who they wish to have it with. They are fickle and comlicated beyond measure, and their complexity leaves me disgusted.

    Neverthless, I keep reading his novels!
    "Friends stab you in the front" --Oscar Wilde

  10. #10
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    :-?
    I read the Chinese Version of Lolita
    came across many abstacle

    afterward, i know that this book was writen by at least 4 kinds of lauguage
    Nabokov was a lauguage master, wasn't he?

    6 months ago, i bought an oringinal book
    oh my God, it's too hard to me!

    I'd better go back to improve my English.

  11. #11

    don't give up

    Keep trying and you'll get it. I admire you for taking on the daunting task of learning English. I am just starting to pick up Spanish and from what I understand English is one of the hardest languages to learn.
    Permit me to doubt.

  12. #12
    Yes, he was a master of language! (gushes with admiration)...
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
    --Aristotle

  13. #13
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    That's the genius of Nobakov, I suppose (though I haven't read 'Lolita'). In 'A Clockwork Orange', the protagonist, Alex, rapes a woman in front of her husband, steals their money, kills another woman and then gets sent to state jail ('staja') for fourteen years. All the time, I was amazed by how sorry I felt for him because here was this horrible person commiting unspeakable strocities, and yet it was because he was able to choose violence over reason that you sincerely admired him . . . and it was when
    he was finally subdued into pacifism by his conditioning that you really started to feel as though more wrong had been done to him than he had ever done to others. I am familiar with the general theme of 'Lolita', and it sounds like Nobakov assembled a very paradoxical story along the same lines as Burgess some years later.[/quote]

    Having read both Burgess's A Clockwork Orange and Nabokov's Lolita I can assure you that while both books contain deviant behavior the themes and writing styles are completely different. I donít know if you read Burgessís 21 chapter complete text or the truncated 20 chapter Americanized, Kubrickian version but if you compare the two works using the complete 21 chapter text you will note that while Burgess remains wedded to the idea of salvation for all Nabokov harbors no such ideals. While Alex finds peace and fulfillment, or at least Burgess leads us to believe he will, Nabokovís Humbert and Dolores are both destroyed by their experiences. Humbert and Dolores both play the role of the destroyer of lives and the victim of that same destroyer, Nabokov sums up this idea near the end of Lolita, ďHe broke my heart. You merely broke my life.Ē Unlike Burgessís Alex, Nabokov holds out no hope of salvation for his characters and their illicit and impure love. Nabokov, unlike Burgess, is not in the business of giving us happy endings.Burgess gave us a tale of good and evil; of the humanity inherit in choosing between the two, and of the ability of humanity to, eventually and in whatever round-about manner, choose good over evil. Nabokov gave us a tale of human failings, human weakness, the complexities of humanity, and lives lying in rubble with no phoenix arising from the ashes. Humbert and Dolores werenít granted Alexís second chance at life.

  14. #14
    Drama Queen Koa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stavrokin
    :-?
    I read the Chinese Version of Lolita
    came across many abstacle

    afterward, i know that this book was writen by at least 4 kinds of lauguage
    Nabokov was a lauguage master, wasn't he?

    6 months ago, i bought an oringinal book
    oh my God, it's too hard to me!

    I'd better go back to improve my English.
    ??? I thought Lolita was written originally in American English, even if nabokov was Russian... I know he was bilingual and translated his own works... (i believe I've already said this somewhere). Anything else I need to know about the languages???

    Keep trying and you'll get it. I admire you for taking on the daunting task of learning English. I am just starting to pick up Spanish and from what I understand English is one of the hardest languages to learn.

    gatsbysghost
    , English is not too hard. Its grammar is incredibly easy to learn, then it's hard to master the whole of the language because it's very varied etc... But grammatically, I'm sure it's the easiest language I've ever known. If you are a native English speaker, I can believe Spanish seems hard to you: I think it's very hard for English speakers to learn any other language, exactly because their grammar is so easy that vast grammars like the Spanish one are confusing to them...
    dead on the inside, i've got nothing to prove
    keep me alive and give me something to lose

  15. #15
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    Nabokov wrote most of his later works, including Lolita in English.

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