Saturday, February 19, 2011


I have recently finished reading the novel "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov.  I will start by saying if you haven't read it, you should.

In the story the narrator/main character is a pedophile who falls in love with a twelve year old girl.


*Disclaimer- Proctor's Type does not support or condone pedophilia in any way.

My strong feelings about pedophiles aside, the story is provocative and hilarious.  I have to admit that at times I felt grimy reading it, but just couldn't stop.  I am not a literary critic but I am going to share a few of my thoughts about Lolita:

I do not support book banning in any way.  This book has been banned at many libraries all throughout the world.  To me, this is a travesty.  Lolita is a work of fiction and does not condone pedophilia.  Throughout the story you see that Humbert is filled with guilt and never fulfilled.  His acting on his desires ruins his life as well as Dolores'.  The mere retelling of his love for Dolores (the story itself) is too much for him to live with, seeing that he requests that it not be published until his and Dolly's passing.  In the same way the movie Fatal Attraction makes an unfaithful husband think twice, I believe that a pedophile may strongly reconsider after reading Lolita.  The novel is not "Erotica", as many book banners claim.  The few descriptions of physical acts within the novel are disgusting and show just how truly cruel Humbert (or the typical pedophile) is.

This brings me to another topic of discussion:  Humbert's "guilt".  Delving into the pedophile's mind, as this book does, is a complex journey.  Some critics have forgiven Humbert completely, basically the "you can't help who you fall in love with" argument.  I cannot disagree more.  Humbert is a human being who knows right from wrong, not a robot who is programmed to be a pedophile and be with Dolly Haze at all costs.  Throughout his telling of the story, Humbert shows that he is a very intelligent, insightful man, who clearly knows that Delores does not love him, nor is she capable of loving him.  Through acts such as bribing Dolly for sex and restricting her from being around boys her age, Humbert shows he is manipulative and conniving.  Any "love" or emotional connection he feels he has for Dolly is far outweighed by his physical attraction to her.    

An interesting counterpoint is that Humbert still wants to be with Lo when he goes to try to take her away when she is pregnant and seventeen.  I do not believe her offering to go away with her is an act of love but more an act of guilt.  He feels responsible for her loss of innocence, and is willing to take her in as some type of, what he considers to be, a humane act.  He masquerades as if he still loves her but shows through his actions that he is jealous and possessive.  I consider it similar to an established adult who has the opportunity to repurchase the car they had when they were sixteen and wants it despite it having no true use to them.

Well readers, thats a few of my thoughts about Lolita, I highly recommend reading it.  It is a story you will never forget, even if you try.  Let me know what you think after you read it.

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