I read this haunting novel today. And I understand why it is in all the top 100 lists. In the beginning it felt wrong to read the titillating and sensual description of a 12 year old by a voyeur. Yet it is no more erotic than any great tragedy. It is haunting as the subject matter would inevitably be. Yet I had read somewhere about the devious little girl as well. But I din’t see it in the novel. True, she was a precocious 12 year old. But what chance does little Lolita has around the cunning, manipulative Humbert Humbert? Humbert would have us believe Lolita seduced him. Humbert who considers little girls nymphets, and he who is as cunning as only a maniac can be.Even though Lolita doesn’t have a voice except what Humbert tells what she is like, there are moments that break your heart. Humbert is a literary man, and he does understand his behaviour enough to list out the manipulations, threats and bribery he uses to keep Dolores a prisoner to himself. And then he sees”her sobs in the night–every night,every night– the moment I feigned sleep”.
October 5th, 2013