«Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.»
This is how the very controversial book written by Vladimir Nabokov starts. Lolita, published for the first time in 1955 in Paris relates the story of this middle-aged literature professor, Humbert Humbert, who’s obsessed with the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, with whom he becomes sexually involved after he becomes her stepfather. Characterized as “pornography” by the Chicago Tribune, this scandalous scenario has outraged the public as much as they loved it. Indeed, 50 million copies have sold since the book's publication. The book was banned as obscene in France and England from 1955 to 1959, as well as in Argentina, New Zealand, and South Africa (1974-1982) but it has never been banned in the United States. Naturally, seeing the author as a pervert could be the first reaction. According to the readers, it seems impossible to imagine someone writing such story without having the feelings which comes out from it. So how does the writer makes the narration sound horrifying and literary beautiful at the same time? How can we appreciate this specific writing style and find loveliness into this storm of disconcerting images?
In this passage, beginning of the story, Humbert Humbert sets the context straight from the first line. This book is going to talk about love and passion. “Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.” It appears that the narrator is filled with pleasure whenever he’s thinking about any aspect of his dear Lolita. Even saying her name gets him in a happiness which he can’t get out of. He’s like in another world when she comes to his mind. He takes a long time to describe every part of her, which makes the reader feel a little bit awkward toward this “fetishing moment”. Indeed, love isn’t the only topic of this famous story. Sex is probably the biggest part of it, of course since the book got famous because of...
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