Classics Club Challenge: 3/100
PopSugar Challenge: a book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover (since mine has Lolita’s dangling feet in socks and shoes)
Time period: 20th century
Rating: 4 stars
Warning flag: 2 flags for very sensitive and gross subject material
I know I’m doing a lot of 4 stars for books this year, but there’s been something holding me back in a lot of them. For me, it was the subject matter of this book. I had to take a long break for this one and actually started it last year, but since I had a good portion of it left, I thought it could still count for the Classics Club (someone let me know if I can’t).
All in all, I think Nabokov’s writing is genius. He twists the narrative in such a way, in the point of view of Humphrey, that I couldn’t help but feel sympathetic for him a couple times – and then, realizing this, immediately felt disgusted by not only Humphrey, but also by myself. I think this is just the point that Nabokov wanted to make, and this makes Lolita a book ahead of its time, looking at how pedophilia is now starting to be “accepted” through the “MAP” communities and others of the like. I honestly think that any regular person in society who has the nerve to support pedophilia out of “kindness” should have to read this book before he or she is allowed to make his or her mind up.
However, while I think the writing is incredible, I can’t help but shudder at the subject material and feel icky whenever I think of this story. It is written well, but I don’t think I ever want to read it again. I’m also not sure if it’s the break I took, but the second half seemed to be much easier to read, but also less interesting… and here I go feeling disgusted at myself again because at least thank God Dolly got out of that brute’s clutches – and then finally I end up marveling at the effect that Nabokov has had on me. That is the mark of a great writer.