…because I like reading stories about pedophiles(?)
I wanted to read this book forever. For those of you who don’t know, Lolita’s a classic, and highly controversial novel by Vladimir Nabokov, who – going by his first name – was obviously Russian. The book follows the story of a Mr. Humbert Humbert (which is a terrible name – thank goodness it’s revealed to be a pseudonym), who happens to have a particular attraction to certain young girls. This leads him into a dark affair with one particular Dolores Haze, and his eventual capture. I promise there aren’t any spoilers in what I just said, if this particular kind of novel tickles your fancy.
I’m not entirely sure what I had been expecting going into it. Of course, the book is written from Hum-creeper’s perspective, and thus making it a wonderful example of the ‘unreliable narrator trope.’ I wanted to study that for my own writing. However, despite Vladimir the obvious Russian, stating at the end of the book that he meant no meaning or moral when writing the story, I found one. A really deep and profound one that really speaks to the sort of thing I’m going through at the moment, and because of this meaning, I’d implore you to read it as well (if you’re into the sort of prose he writes in).
And after this, there will be spoilers. Just as a fair warning.
On the surface, Lolita’s a book about a creep who manipulates and rapes a young girl, holding her captive for years. He marries her mother to get to her, does a whole manner of other deplorable things, and is essentially an atrocious person. But if you look beyond that, Nabokov is examining two very familiar (to me at least) aspects of unhealthy love. He’s pulling apart a bad relationship, splitting it into two parts, and creating characters that represent two of the largest downfalls we face when dealing with relations between people. Getting out of a bad relationship myself, I relate highly to both characters – yes, the pedo included – and the story was almost therapeutic to me, in a weird way.