Free eBook Lolita – Stg2bio.co

Humbert Humbert scholar, aesthete and romantic has fallen completely and utterly in love with Lolita Haze, his landlady s gum snapping, silky skinned twelve year old daughter Reluctantly agreeing to marry Mrs Haze just to be close to Lolita, Humbert suffers greatly in the pursuit of romance but when Lo herself starts looking for attention elsewhere, he will carry her off on a desperate cross country misadventure, all in the name of Love Hilarious, flamboyant, heart breaking and full of ingenious word play, Lolita is an immaculate, unforgettable masterpiece of obsession, delusion and lust ENGLISH Lolita ITALIANOAfter dusty years in my bookshelf, finally I decided to readLolitaI am blown away by this Vladimir Nabokov s work, ironic and dramatic at the same time I am not shocked, nor I have found those disastrous tones of an announced tragedy that I was expecting from this book Indeed Nabokov tells us that this workbrings along no moral For me a work of fiction exists only if it gives me what I frankly shall call aesthetic pleasure The main character, Humbert, de ENGLISH Lolita ITALIANOAfter dusty years in my bookshelf, finally I decided to readLolitaI am blown away by this Vladimir Nabokov s work, ironic and dramatic at the same time I am not shocked, nor I have found those disastrous tones of an announced tragedy that I was expecting from this book Indeed Nabokov tells us that this workbrings along no moral For me a work of fiction exists only if it gives me what I frankly shall call aesthetic pleasure The main character, Humbert, describes in a precise and often sarcastic way his syndrome, i.e the uncontrollable attraction towards those he definesnymphetsbased on a rigorous combination of age, attitude and style of dress, a lethal mix that can catapult him into an abyss of irrationality Some normal dalliances had in adolescence or adulthood are worthless Something is wrong in our antihero, which plans convenience marriages or improbable assassinations just to satisfy his ecstatic passion Playing the dual role of fugitive and pursuer in a long road trip, the wretched fate of a grotesque man takes place A man that until the end is unable to control his insane and delirious love.But still love.Vote 8Dopo anni di polverosa presenza nel mio scaffale, decido con moderato entusiasmo di leggere questo libro Ironico e drammatico al contempo, quest opera di Vladimir Nabokov mi ha spiazzato Non mi sono scandalizzato, n ho ritrovato quei toni funesti da tragedia annunciata che il titoloLolitasempre suscitava in me D altronde ci dice Nabokov che la sua operanon si porta dietro nessuna morale Per me un opera di narrativa esiste solo se mi procura quella che chiamer francamente volutt estetica.Il protagonista, Humbert, descrive in maniera precisa e spesso sarcastica la sua sindrome, l attrazione irrefrenabile verso coloro che definisceninfettesulla base di una rigorosa combinazione di et , atteggiamento e modo di vestire, un mix letale in grado di scaraventarlo in un abisso di irrazionalit A nulla valgono esperienze relazionali normali avute in adolescenza o in et adulta Qualcosa non quadra nel bell Humbert, che progetta matrimoni di convenienza o improbabili assassinii pur di soddisfare la sua estatica passione Rivestendo il duplice ruolo di fuggiasco ed inseguitore in un lungo viaggio on the road, si compie il gramo destino di un uomo grottesco, incapace fino all ultimo di dominare il suo a insano e delirante.Ma pur sempre a.Voto 8 Between the CoversAfter re reading Lolita , I asked my local bookseller if she d ever read it.She replied firmly, No and I m not going to either He s a paedophile A bit taken aback, I enquired further, Who The author or the character Fortunately, she replied, The character For me, this exchange showed how much Lolita can still sharply divide opinion, even within lovers of fiction.This wasn t the conversation I had been hoping for.I had read Lolita in a couple of days, less time than Between the CoversAfter re reading Lolita , I asked my local bookseller if she d ever read it.She replied firmly, No and I m not going to either He s a paedophile A bit taken aback, I enquired further, Who The author or the character Fortunately, she replied, The character For me, this exchange showed how much Lolita can still sharply divide opinion, even within lovers of fiction.This wasn t the conversation I had been hoping for.I had read Lolita in a couple of days, less time than my work commitments normally allow me, but I found it incredibly easy to read.Even though I was taking notes, even though I was conscious that Nabokov was playing games even if I didn t always know what game , even though there were unfamiliar words I should have looked up, I was constantly drawn towards the conclusion.I wanted to talk to someone about my experience straight away.My cheeks were still flushed, my nerve endings were still tingling, I had experienced the spine thrill of delight , I felt like I had just had sex with a book.Now, not being a smoker, all I needed was some post coital conversation.And there was no one around to converse with.And the book wasn t giving away anyof its secrets than it already had.Nor was it going to tell me I had been a Good Reader or that it had appreciated my attentiveness.It was back between the covers, challenging me to start again.Three Act Word PlayAt a superficial level, Lolita is a relatively straight forward novel.Once you know that it concerns sexual relations between 37 year old Humbert Humbert and 12 year old Dolores Lolita Hayes, you just about know the plot.There s a beginning, a middle and an end.A grooming, a consummation, an aftermath.Nabokov makes of his material a three act play.And he does so playfully, seductively, lyrically, charmingly, amusingly, dangerously.To this day, I cannot look at Humbert s initials H.H without pronouncing them in German, Ha Ha , and wondering whether the joke is on us.Beneath the skin of the novel, there is much.There is a whole complex living organism.You can lose yourself within its arms for days, weeks, months, a lifetime.As long as your love of wordplay, your love of words and play, will permit you.Again, at a superficial level, there is an almighty conflict between morality and aesthetics happening between the pages.Whether or not Nabokov deliberately put the conflict there, he put the subject matter there.We, the readers, can supply our own conflict in the way we read his novel.Nabokov knew the subject matter would inflame us, if not our desires, then at least our morals, our sense of righteousness.Morality and aesthetics are intertwined within the fabric of the novel.They embrace each other in one long death roll, just like Humbert Humbert and Clare Quilty.We watch their interaction, open mouthed, open minded, but ultimately they have to be pulled apart or separated.When they are together, they are one.When they are apart, they are each other s double.The Morality of the StoryThere is no doubt that sexual relations between an adult and a minor are not just immoral, but criminal as well.That is an unquestionable fact.From a legal point of view, the motive of the adult is irrelevant to the proof of the crime.The consent of the minor is irrelevant to the proof of the crime.If Humbert had been charged with an offence of sexual relations with a minor, he would have had no legal defence.Any question as to whether Lolita really seduced Humbert would have been irrelevant.In fact, the evidence might not even have been admissible, except potentially as part of the determination of the penalty.In other words, even if it was relevant to penalty, it was not relevant to guilt.Because morality is a social construct that depends on collective endorsement, he had no moral defence either.The personal views of the individual are not really that relevant to society s determination that an act is immoral.The choice of the individual is to comply or offend.Of Traps and CagesHumbert offended not just once, but untold numerous times over two years.He carefully planned his seduction, he set his trap, he caught his prey, even if someone might want to argue that this 12 year old seductress walked voluntarily into the trap.Having freed Lolita from the trap, he imprisoned her in a cage, and repeated his crime.Again, someone could argue that she had plenty of opportunities to flee the cage which she eventually did.But Humbert surrounded Lolita with an elaborate system of self doubt that convinced her that she would become a ward of the state if they were found out.The Legality of the Confession Lolita is written from Humbert s point of view.It is not just a recollection in his mind, it is a formal, written document.He sat down and wrote it in 56 days between his capture in 1952 charged only with the crime of murdering Clare Quilty and his death in prison before his trial could occur.For me, the written document is a fascinating choice of literary device to tell the story.The document becomes a book within a book.While Nabokov obviously wrote it, all that he purports to do is sandwich it between a Foreword and a much later Afterword.This device sets up an interesting relationship between Humbert and the reader.For Humbert, it is akin to a confession or a witness statement.To this extent, what he confesses to is clearly enough to convict him of the crime of murder.However, in it, he also sets out details of crimes that, for whatever reason, he was never charged with.If his lawyer had read the document while he was still alive, he would probably have excised all of the other confessions, because they would have prejudiced his client s case at least with respect to penalty.The Role of the JuryFor the reader, the confession defines our relationship to the events that are described.We are cast in the role of a member of the Jury.This device allows heinous moral and criminal acts to be described and read and examined within a legal and therefore legitimate framework.In a sense, the book becomes a report of sorts on legal proceedings.We become legitimate observers and listeners to something that might otherwise have been prurient and offensive and illegal.Yet, we have to do our duty and participate in the legal process, because it is an important part of the justice system.Even though we have a legitimate interest in participating, I wonder whether we are still voyeuristic.Nabokov has trapped us in a game that persuades us that it is serious, but ends up being just as playful and perverse as the subject matter of the crime.In a way, Nabokov makes us complicit in a crime, if not Humbert s crime, then perhaps our own thought crime.It is also material that, by the time Humbert s confession is read, both Humbert and Lolita have died of natural causes.Humbert speaks from the other side of death.Nobody is alive, nobody can be hurt anythan they already have.The Confessions of an Unreliable Narrator The Fox and the Peacock I explored these issues, because I wanted to understand Humbert s motivation for his confession.He is effectively pleading guilty.I don t see any prospect for an insanity defence, even though he seemed to have been in and out of sanatoria at times of crisis.Equally, I don t think that anything he reveals would reduce the penalty for the murder.To do so, he only needed to focus on his concern that Quilty had wronged Lolita in some way even worse than his own actions.But to confess all of these other crimes seems to be counter productive.Similarly, I don t think he was lying about the detail, I think that he was telling the truth, and that he was telling the truth, so that he could be understood, no , no less.Humbert s confession is not just the fiction of a dirty old man, it is not false or fabricated, it is not a mirage.No matter how immoral, no matter how deluded, no matter how selfish and narcissistic, it is his fact, his reality, his truth, his burden, his shame.His actions were the pursuit of a rational man, not an insane one.He was film star handsome, educated, intellectual, talented, witty, charming, calculating, calculated, dangerous.There is no doubt that he was a talented performer, an exceptional player.However, Humbert is not an actor wearing a mask, performing some other fictional character or version of himself.I believe that we are seeing him for what he really is.He is as cunning, tricky, sly as a fox and as refined, elaborate, attractive as a peacock.His decoration, his ornamentation is part of him, his life, his loins, his sin, his soul.In pursuit of Lolita, he was prepared to lie and deceive in order to achieve his goal.I don t believe that he was prepared to lie to us, if only because there was no point in lying.When occasionally he questions the veracity of his own account, it is solely to question the accuracy of his memory.However, he didn t need to tell lies to achieve leniency, he didn t need to tell the truth for some ulterior motive.By confessing to anything, he would only be found guilty of crimes he hadn t been charged with in addition to the charge of murder he had been accused of.There was no point in confessing to anything extra, other than to tell the truth as he saw it.It wasn t going to get him any sympathy or reduce his penalty, if anything, his disclosures would aggravate his penalty.To this extent, I don t consider Humbert an unreliable narrator.I realise that some might respond that paedophiles are habitual liars and can t help themselves.That might well be the case, but I think it is our horror at his crime, our moral judgment affecting our assessment of the whole of the person and shaping our aesthetic response to the book and the character.Perhaps naively, I want to find some good in him.Ultimately, whether or not Humbert s love was morally wrong, I believe that he wanted us to understand his love and what he learned about his love by the end of his story What We Talk about When We Talk about Humbert s LoveTechnically, the sexual relations between Humbert and Lolita are not an example of paedophilia which is a sexual preference for a pre pubescent.While nothing moral or legal turns on the distinction, the sexual relations constitute hebephilia which is a sexual preference for a person in the early stage of puberty.The name derives from Hebe , the Greek goddess of youth.Her name means youth or prime of life, and she personified both youth and immortality.She was the cup bearer who served nectar to the Olympian Gods to give them everlasting youth.First Part Obsessive Love For me, during the first part of the book, Humbert s love was forbidden, but genuine.It was a transgressive love, in that it was a love of the particular aesthetic form that youth takes between the ages of ten and fifteen.The body is at its most perfect, it has not started to age, to wrinkle, to fill out, to droop, to deteriorate.After that age, the body starts to age, and he finds that physically unattractive as in the case of his first wife and Lolita s mother.OK, we all make choices about our love objects.How can we account for our choices There s no accounting for love.Still, at the heart of this aesthetic approach to love is a fear or disgust at aging and mortality.There is an unreality, a lack of understanding and acceptance of the cycle of life and death, a Peter Pan desire to stay forever young, forever immortal.I also think there is a self love or narcissism inherent in this aesthetic view.I love the young, because I love the perfect form of my own youth.Since my youth, I have fallen, morally and physically.I therefore have to preserve the visage of my own youth.I wonder whether it is only possible to have this view if you have never had your own biological child.Parenthood is an education in the reality of aging.It is an illusion to believe that you can live and defeat it.But tell that to the cosmetics industry.So far I have talked of love in the abstract.In the first part of the book, I struggled to understand Humbert s love and the above is what I came up with.I won t say I had a sympathy for him, but I think I understood him and his love.I even understood his obsessiveness.How many of us, during the first throes of love, trap and oppress our love object, so much so that we are not able to see how oppressive we were, until after the relationship has been consummated, or morphed into somethingmature or ended However, things started to change at the end of the first part the consummation and into the second part the imprisonment.Of course the love had to be consummated, but as unexceptional as the description of the event was, it highlighted the reality that the first part was a trap for Lolita to walk into.As playful and lyrical as the language might have been, it was sinister in intent.Second Part Captivating Love During the second part, having captured Lo, Humbert makes it clear that his love will last nothan three years, to be precise, 1 January, 1947 to 1 January, 1950, which are effectively her 12th to 15th birthdays.After this, statistically at least, Lo will morph out of her nymphet form.So Humbert s love is solely for a definitive phase of her entire life, after which he expects and intends to abandon her.During this phase, Humbert s goal is to maintain Lolita in captivity, to ensure her availability for him alone There is no fairy tale promise of happily ever after or til death do us part in this love action.There is no love or concern for the other, only selfishness and narcissism.I have tried to view the definition of beauty that appeals to Humbert as an aesthetic issue.I have tried to divorce it from morality, so I can understand it better.However, whether I think of it in terms of aesthetics or morality, obsession or love, the fact that it could be switched on and off at such identifiable times turned me against Humbert.He is in control of this feeling called love, at least, he knows with clinical precision when he will return to normality or a state of not loving.His love was a drug that he took too knowingly, he knew precisely when the feeling of the drug would wear off.So, I started to believe that there was no loss of self in his love.Instead, it was a heightened or gross act of narcissism.By extension, there was no sense in which he tried to satisfy Lo personally or sexually.There was no sense of a mutually satisfying relationship or intercourse although to be fair, he doesn t go into the sexual detail, except in terms of physical exertion.However, I got the sense that, when it came to consummating his love, it was just about sticking his dick into his love object.OK, lots of sexual relationships can be reduced to this fundamental penetrative act.Some men see femaleness as nothan a receptacle for maleness and its fluid manifestation, the cup into which they spill their seed.However, I started to feel in the second part that Humbert s aim was to defile or despoil the beauty that had appealed to him in the first part even if it was transgressive.And the three year zone of enchantment highlighted to me that Humbert would just go in search of the next beautiful nymphet to stick his dick into.So it became increasingly apparent to me that he was a serial despoiler of beauty, not a genuine lover or admirer of beauty.There is a hatred or disgust hotwired into this love.You don t normally hate the flowers in your vase when it comes time to remove them and throw them in the dustbin.But you get the sense that Humbert would have been disgusted by his former love objects, his objet d obsession, the moment that calendar clicked over.Obviously, this same disgust or loss of interest appears intraditional relationships.It could lie behind the mid life crisis when the guy runs away with the younger woman.It could explain the inability to accept the inevitability of aging, at least in our partner.It could explain we males who still picture ourselves as the immutable 20 year old who deserves a young and nubile partner no matter how soft or old or fat or ugly we have become.So Humbert s love can teach the rest of us something about our own love.Last Part Adult Love Denied I wrote most of my comments about the second part before I had finished reading the last part of the novel.I have to emphasise that most of what turned me against Humbert came from my reaction to his own words.Neither he nor Nabokov held back the material that would make me hate him.Still, I read on, firmly in their constrictive embrace, until chapter 29, when Humbert and the seventeen year old, married and pregnant Dolores meet again.What you think of Humbert and his love, whether or not you think he is lying, depends on your interpretation of the confessions in this chapterthere she was with her ruined looks and her adult, rope veined narrow hands and her gooseflesh white arms, and her shallow ears, and her unkempt armpits, there she was my Lolita , hopelessly worn at seventeen, with that baby and I looked and I looked at her, and knew as clearly as I know I am to die, that I loved herthan anything I had ever seen or imagined on earth, or hoped for anywhere else What I used to pamper among the tangled vines of my heart had dwindled to its essence sterile and selfish vice, all that I cancelled and cursed You may jeer at me, and threaten to clear the court, but until I am gagged and half throttled, I will shout my poor truth I insist the world know how much I loved my Lolita, this Lolita, pale and polluted, and big with another s child, but still gray eyed, still sooty lashed, still auburn and almond, still Carmencita, still mine This is just one part of Humbert s journey.He realised that he still loved her outside the hebephile zone.However, he still clung to his Lolita, the Lolita of his deluded version of love.Obviously, Dolores is and never was his version of reality, she was her own person, and she declines his love a second time.Only then does he recognise that he did not know a thing about his darling s mind or that a North American girl child named Dolores Haze had been deprived of her childhood by a maniac.Then he quotes an old poet presumably Nabokov himselfThe moral sense in mortals is the duty We have to pay on mortal sense of beauty In other words, you can t just indulge an aesthetic sense of beauty at the expense of a real human being, it comes attached to and constrained by morality.Morality, taboo and the law work together to protect innocence and beauty from those who would defile and despoil it.He was not above the law, he was no Nietzschian Superman.He was the fool in his own play.The TragedyThere are suggestions that Nabokov saw Humbert s story as a tragedy, that Humbert only realised that he genuinely loved Dolores by conventional standards when it was too late.That might be so, but Humbert only had himself to blame.He was a victim of his own hand, and his tragedy was nothing compared with the one he made Dolores endure, so that he, too selfishly for love, could have his Lolita Now, this is going to be embarrassing to admit.As we all should know, reading and enjoying a book is largely about interpretation People are not the same and we all view things differently one individual might see a relationship in a book as passionate while another could see it as damaging When characters make bad decisions, some will view it as stupidity and others will view it as an accurate representation of humanity s imperfections Not only that, but time often changes the way one p Now, this is going to be embarrassing to admit.As we all should know, reading and enjoying a book is largely about interpretation People are not the same and we all view things differently one individual might see a relationship in a book as passionate while another could see it as damaging When characters make bad decisions, some will view it as stupidity and others will view it as an accurate representation of humanity s imperfections Not only that, but time often changes the way one person sees things A teenager does not usually have the same outlook on life and relationships that someone of thirty does, and neither of them have the same outlook as someone of seventy does.So it s time that I admit, when reading this at thirteen, my younger brain actually romanticised Humbert s depravity and saw the relationship between him and Lolita as some tragic love affair It was surprise, surprise Tatiana s review that made me wonder if I d had a screw loose when reading this years ago Her interpretation was so far from what I remembered that I simply had to find time for a re read This summer, I did just that I am going to point the shameful finger of blame at my age when I first read it I was as fooled by Humbert as the young Lolita was.Humbert is not a reliable narrator his declaration that Lolita was responsible for seducing him is repulsive and wrong Because, in the end, an adult has no excuse for having sex with a child, even if they re walking around half naked and offering themselves up adults have a responsibility not to take advantage of children And I now realise this case is no exception This is not some tragic romantic tale about forbidden love it is the story of how a grown man repeatedly raped a young girl The fact that it is so easy to be taken in by him either says something about how brilliant a writer Nabokov is which he is , or how much society still loves to blame the victim.I don t know whether to feel better about my original feelings or be horrified that even the description for the audiobook describes the novel asa love story almost shocking in its beauty and tendernessAnd I also know that I have no right to criticise other people who saw it in such a way, but I would ask you to read it again, to look beyond Humbert s snivelling and self pity, to see the man who considers murdering a woman so he can be free to have sex with her twelve year old daughter, the man who feels sorry for himself when a young girl doesn t want to have sex with him because she s still hurt from the last time Is that love Maybe it was for a thirteen year old looking through Humbert s perverted eyes, but I m glad I understand it better now.Nabokov has written a brilliant and disturbing novel my opinion of it hasn t changed in that respect I found it surprisingly easy to read and became absorbed quickly even all those years ago His portrayal of Humbert s perverted mind is scarily good, perhaps even too good if people can so easily be convinced to side with a paedophile which is often regarded as the ultimate crime of all, isn t it Even cold blooded murderers go after prisoners who ve messed with kids And, as much as I feel ashamed for being so taken in by Humbert, I know that it s not just me who was fooled Hell, even the GR description proves it But, believe me, Lolita is a victim and no amount of saddening flashbacks to Humbert s past can change that Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Tumblr I wasn t even going to write a review of Lolita after finishing it, because, honestly, how many reviews does this classic need That is, until I started pocking around and reading what others have to say about it Many reactions to this book are puzzling to me In this world of Jerry Sanduskys and such, there are still people who find this erotic, who in the end feel some kind of compassion toward the narrator, who think that Lolita was the one who seduced and manipulated poor Humbert Well, I I wasn t even going to write a review of Lolita after finishing it, because, honestly, how many reviews does this classic need That is, until I started pocking around and reading what others have to say about it Many reactions to this book are puzzling to me In this world of Jerry Sanduskys and such, there are still people who find this erotic, who in the end feel some kind of compassion toward the narrator, who think that Lolita was the one who seduced and manipulated poor Humbert Well, I beg to differ Lolita is as erotic as Speak is pornographic As for favorable opinions of Humbert, I guess it is possible this effect can be attributed to Nabokov s mastery of deception Clearly, Humbert still, half a century after the novel s publication, manages to fool readers, and himself, into believing that he is a dedicated, caring lover, wounded and changed by an early tragic romance Only occasionally does the truth bleed through his self delusion Lolita s wistful glance at a child sitting on his father s lap, a simple act that is forever sallied by Humbert s filth, her disinterest in life, her resignation to satisfy him for pocket money and permission to participate in a school play No, Humbert did not fool me into feeling sorry for him On a technical level, Lolita deserves full 5 stars the language, the wit, the world play I don t think I ve ever read anything like this before But emotionally this look into a pedophile s psyche is so disgusting, I can t quite bring myself to rate it so Humbert is so sickly real to me, with his apologies, justifications of his behavior, cowardice, sob stories and bending of reality, how does an author create someone like this How did Nabokov get such an intimate knowledge of someone so despicable