Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

I've waited years to be able to get this book and now that I've read it I find myself thinking all sorts of thoughts. I am almost running a blank at how to summarize the plot without spoiling it for anyone who wants to read it. It chronicles the life and wild mind of a pedophile and his most beloved and only true conquest Dolly aka Lolita. While charging through this strange novel I kept wondering if the emotions and thoughts expressed would be anything similar to a real pedophiles mind.

Thoughts of an almost idealistic romantic nature were tinted with the fact that he knew he was doing something and illegal. He constantly made excuses for himself, he would never touch an innocent child. He would only seek out the "nymphets" who by his definition weren't normal girl children. They were tomboyish in figure yet had sultry eyes and seductive mannerisms. Oddly enough that description fits many lost prepubescent souls in today's society.

Many young girls grow up literally over night, easily going from jacks and dolls to teen heart throb magazines and whispered secrets. Oddly enough even though this novel was written in 1955 the characters personalities and situations are still valid. Pedophilia is a serious problem in today society in all its forms. Recently in a local news paper a 35 year old teacher was caught having sexual intercourse with a 17 year old student. Oddly enough a close friend of mines reaction reminded me of the musings of Lolita's love hungry main character. She said she was horribly upset because he was such a nice man and so happy in his marriage. My response was shock and I asked her how can he be happy when he was having an affair with an underage girl? That makes no sense. The response was even more shocking, "Of course he was happy, he loves his wife and children more than anything. It's not his fault that he's addicted to sex. He needs the thrill of different women it's an addiction, he's ill and needs help. After all that's why my ex-husband cheated on me. He loved me and the kids and was very happy with us but he was addicted to sex with other women. I feel so sorry for the men." My jaw was literally on the floor. I'm still shocked by such a self delusional statement. But it did make sense in an odd way. Her way, and others I'm sure, of self preservation was to delude herself into thinking it's an addiction. So then does that same thought apply to the 30 something year old man who carries on a sexual relationship with a 12 year old. Is he truly sick and not in control of himself? Is he or she honestly addicted to the sexual contact?

Lolita is an oddly interesting look into a sickness that is claimed to be uncontrollable and there for , only by its suffers, excusable.

I can't say that I enjoyed this book because to say so seems almost sickening. But I did appreciate its complexity and its look into the mind of depravity. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

5 comments:

Amanda said...

I loved this book. It's one of my favorite books, and one of the best-written I've ever read. What I like about it so much is the manipulation Nabokov uses. He drags the reader along, trying - perhaps succeeding, at times - to get them to sympathize with Humbert Humbert, then takes them to the midpoint climax of the book, turns around, and slaps you in the face for your sympathy. It's brilliant, and HH seems a far worse character once you've experienced his mindset and learned a sympathy you probably never should have had. It's been years since I read this and I must revisit someday soon. It's such a brilliant book.

Padfoot and Prongs - Good Books Inc. said...

Thanks Amanda...to true! His writing is just so beautiful it at almost times makes you forget how wrong the situation really is. God his writing is amazing. One of the first opening passages of literature that I ever committed to heart. Light of my life...fire of my loins!

Nikki said...

I think I am to personally involved in the underlying situation to actually enjoy the wonders of his writing. I honestly thought I could take it but....HHs character reminded me of someone in my past much to closely and it just hit way to close to home. But it is a wonderful novel. Don't get me wrong. I guess the subject matter was a little too much for me.

Amanda said...

I can understand that. A lot of people are turned off by the subject matter.

Nikki said...

I did love the novel seriously and it was a real thinker too which I like....it just hit a little to close to home is all....I would recommend that anyone with unresolved issues dealing with molestation be careful reading it....it can have a bad association but it was very very good I can see why it is one of your favories!