From Pine View Farm

The Lesson of Lolita 0

At Psychology Today Blogs, Michael Karson turns our attention to Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita and the lessons it has for us.

Many years ago, I read Lolita.

It is without question the most chilling novel I have ever read. Next to it, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a Daffy Duck comic. I have no desire to read it again.*

In his narration, Humbert Humbert convinces himself and almost (but not quite–that’s the majesty of Nabokov’s writing) convinces the reader that Lolita welcomes, even yearns for, his violation of her.

An excerpt from Karson’s piece:

Nabokov confronts us with the elegant stories we tell ourselves to excuse our selfishness.

Self-delusion and evil often walk hand-in-hand.

Look around: You will see many Humbert Humberts in the political sphere, industriously convincing themselves and their dupes, symps, and fellow travelers to violate the common good and rape the general wellfare.


*It has been said that any book worth reading once is worth reading twice. I’ll make an exception for Lolita.


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