"Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov

"Awe and exhiliration—along with heartbreak and mordant wit—abound in Lolita, Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love—love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation." from BN.com

"The novel is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, middle-aged literature professor and hebephile Humbert Humbert, is obsessed with the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, with whom he becomes sexually involved after he becomes her stepfather. "Lolita" is his private nickname for Dolores.

The book is also notable for its writing style. The narrative is highly subjective as Humbert draws on his fragmented memories, employing a sophisticated prose style, while attempting to gain the reader's sympathy through his sincerity and melancholy.

After its publication, Lolita attained a classic status, becoming one of the best-known and most controversial examples of 20th Century literature. The name "Lolita" has entered pop culture to describe a sexually precocious girl. The novel was adapted to film by Stanley Kubrick in 1962. It has also been adapted several times for stage and has been the subject of two operas, two ballets, and an acclaimed but failed Broadway musical." from wikipedia.org


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  • carol h.

    Humbert asks the reader to imagine him or he "can't exist." Looking back, he tried to combat his inclinations which kept intruding on his efforts at marriage, etc. He was a very sick man and needed better mental help than he got during his hospitalizations. We have the same problems out there today, don't we?

    January 27, 2014

  • Marianne K.

    It was great! I'm looking forward to the next one.

    January 27, 2014

  • Marianne K.

    I'm so glad I went, it was everything a modern lit should be and more. The discussions were intense and informative.

    January 27, 2014

  • Liz

    Lively, stimulating discussion with a good number of divergent voices partaking.

    January 27, 2014

  • Michael K W.

    @Anna D shared this article with me of a lecture by Nabokov. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but thought I'd share with the group:
    http://www.kafka.org/index.php?id=191,209,0,0,1,0

    January 27, 2014

  • Ted

    Thanks to all those who came out and joined the discussion. We had enough people that we went to two tables this time and that seemed to work out well. As always, we had an interesting and diverse group of people who shared their own perspectives.

    January 26, 2014

  • Rosie S.

    Mesmerizing and irresistibly provocative.

    January 26, 2014

  • Joe A.

    Good discussion and great people.

    January 26, 2014

  • Linda B.

    Are there any spots left for today?

    January 26, 2014

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