Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.”

How incredibly creepy but what an amazing opening for a novel. If you could take away the fact that you know what Lolita is about before you start reading and imagine Lolita as an adult; perhaps one half of a pair of doomed lovers it would be much easier to just admire the impossible beauty of this language. In fact by the time I came to the end of Lolita I had to admit something I never thought I would: that even though it’s a disgustingly themed book it is most definitely art and beautiful art at that. So Vladimir Nabokov, I guess you are what everyone says you are: an actual artist. Imagine that.

“There are gentle souls who would pronounce Lolita meaningless because it does not teach them anything. I am neither a reader nor a writer of didactic fiction and… Lolita has no moral in tow. For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm.”

-Nabokov in the afterward to Lolita


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