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lolita-vladimir-nabokov

Lolita. Lo-lee-ta. A book which promotes rape culture and demotes the rights of women everywhere.

I disagree.

Pedophilia is a psychological, mental illness. The people who engage in such acts can, if we are to be objective to the brink of inhuman, be seen as victims also. Humbert Humbert cannot help his attraction. He could prevent it, yes. He could distance himself from the source of his desire, yes. But he’s not that strong, and though strength is something to be praised, we should not condemn those who lack it. We should help them. Humbert Humbert is not a psychopath. He’s calculating and manipulative, but he does feel that he is doing something wrong, and spends a long time trying to bury his secret, sinful thoughts. Of course, that just makes them more prevalent, keeps them pushing harder to surface at the forefront of his mind.

Am I getting too carried away with the story?

Sorry.

With Lolita it is interesting to see a protagonist whose vile acts upon a child are painted in order to evoke sympathy from the reader. I feel sorry for Humbert Humbert. I feel disgusted as well.We are not meant to be on either one side. We can appreciate the societal pressures placed upon Humbert Humbert, and we can discern the callous way in which he pursues his desire. We also see glimpses of victim blaming. (“She seduced me.”) A twelve year old cannot consent to anything, even in the 1950s (when Lolita was written) so you should immediately dispel that notion from your mind, dear reader. At least I hope you do, because that just promotes rape culture, and it did not begin with book, it began with you.

The writing has been praised by many, many critics who can overlook the controversial content. Anyone reading this with half a brain can realize the ingenuity of the writing. It’s beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Here are some of my favourite examples:

“My father was a gentle, easy-going person, a salad of racial genes: a Swiss citizen, of mixed French and Austrian descent, with a dash of the Danube in his veins.”

” My very photogenic mother died in a freak accident (picnic,
lightning) when I was three…”

There are a lot more hilarious, wonderful prose. I only flipped open my book to the first few pages (lazy-I-am).

A very good, at times difficult read. You would be best stowing it away after an hour or two, just to mull over it. This is definitely a book you should think over a bit.

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