Next Up: Lolita
The things I do for this blog.
I’ll be honest with you guys. I don’t want to read this book. At all. From my tweet, you can tell I’ve already started Lolita, and it’s taking everything within me not to put this book down. This “classic” by Vladimir Nabokov will truly put to test my thoughts on appreciating the beauty of depressing and dark stories.
You know, of all the people on earth I don’t want to get into the mind of—a pedophile rapist tops the list. At the very least, I’m reading along in hopes that some misguided satellite falls down out of the sky at thousands of miles per hour and strikes this narrator, Mr. Humbert Humbert, in his fat, creepy head.
Is that too harsh?
So, reluctantly, I present to you a few quick facts about Lolita:
- Lolita was first published in Paris in 1955, followed by New York in 1958.
- Since published, Lolita has sold more than 50 million copies.
- The book is one of two novels by Vladamir Nabakov on the Time list–the other being Pale Fire.
- In addition to being on the Time list, Lolita is 4th on the Modern Library’s list of top 100 novels of the 20th century.
- Stanley Kubrik (shocking!) adapted the novel into a film in 1962.
- The 1999 film American Beauty was heavily inspired by Lolita. In fact, the protagonist in the film (Lester Burnham) is an anagram of “Humbert learns.”
- The novel is, obviously, one of the most controversial books, like, ever and has been banned left and right and up and down everywhere.
Someone, one of you who have read this novel, tell me it gets better. Tell me I’m not reading a hopeless, sick, twisted tale of a delusional, dysfunctional, perverted underage child rapist.
I’ve said all along that I don’t mind reading creepy, depressing stories—Revolutionary Road, Rabbit Run, and Clockwork Orange are just a few that fit that category—as long as they are written well and have some type of greater purpose, something from which I can learn.
But is there a line somewhere? And, if so, does Lolita cross that line?
You tell me. I feel like I might need a mental cleanse after reading this book.
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