Sunday, May 26, 2013

Vladimir Nabokov - Lolita VI

"For all its contrived hype on its sexuality, the book is not very sexual at all, nor is it exciting."

"Although it is a bit of a creepy action, the old man still portrays the desire of an young man who is trying to ask a girl out."

"Lolita somehow floats above the horrific ravages of protracted sexual abuse, unscathed. She seems to suffer little emotional trauma"

"The stupid arguments about it being art overlook that just because art can be made about something, there is always the question of whether it ought to be made. Lolita should not have been made–Art does not need it. It only illuminates baseness and perversion without also illuminating what is wonderful, charitable, revelatory and compassionate about humans."

"Sorry, but I must disagree with so many of the reviews I see here. We read this for my book club, and, universally, it was hated. Overwrought and just icky. The author tried way too hard to impress with his verbal dexterity. And, the protagonist? Unpleasant, to say the least."

"It’s a fucking rape instruction manual, however burdened with ridiculous flowery prose. Plenty of non-rapists could write such a manual. You could. I could. But Nabokov wrote it, traded on it, fucking LOVED it – so I don’t care much whether he personally raped children."

"Lolita takes us through the mind of a man who loves young girls. Yes, in that respects it could be construed as disturbing, but listen as the narrator tells us how hard he struggled against his urges.

Then came Lolita...he couldn't resist her, even though he tried. Though it was not entirely his fault, Lolita seduces our poor narrator and then leads him on a twisted adventure where she uses him for her own pleasure and gain. Lolita knows exactly what she's doing as she slowly destroys the narrator."

"Well played, Nabokov. Seems to me that Lolita is an excellent hoax created by a member of the literati for the literati. Nabokov effectively wrote a dreadfully boring and unnecessarily verbose 'erotic' novel, mixing in enough fancy vocabulary and literary references to prove he's a smart cookie, and that extra dash of pedophilia/'incest' to make it impossible to dislike the book without seeming dense and prudish.

Welp, guess I'm just a Puritan blockhead. In the afterword to this edition, Nabokov makes a stink about people attempting to 'interpret' the work, and also seems disgruntled with silly readers who, looking to be titillated, find themselves bored in the middle. If a book does not have a theme, an idea, even a character to think about, and it doesn't entertain, then it is utterly without point. Which seems to be the "point" of Lolita--to be without point."

"I also suspect that most people here on goodreads that actually give this book a positive rating either diddn't read it and/or did it for the same reason people buy books just to fill their bookshelfes without ever reading them (or the reason people buy 'modern art'), that is, to look sophisticated. I bet the people tought 'hey, this book is famous, it's world literature, if I don't give it a favorable rating, people will think I'm a yokel!'.
Sure, I may be wrong with that and in some cases someone honestly liked it, but still, I just can't imagine someone actually enjoyed reading that book. I just can't."

1 comment:

  1. Haha, these are excellent. I've been seriosuly shocked/amused by some of the reviews I've read so far - this little lot just add to the list. Good work.

    So as to be fair, my own review (of dubious value) is here, ready to be shot down: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov