lolitaAfter reading Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov I came away from it slightly confused, but also a little weirded out by the way it affected me. If you haven’t heard about the story of Lolita, it’s about a preteen girl who becomes entangled in an undesired relationship with her step-father. However, the way that Humbert describes his pedophilia actually makes it seem natural and like a pure romance. He describes his attraction to little girls, nymphets as he so lovingly calls them, in a way that makes it seem like he is merely attracted to a woman of a mature enough and more appropriate age. He describes their romance and at times it felt as though she were equally attracted to him and interested in the prospect of dating Humbert. It soon becomes clear that all Lolita felt for him was simply an adolescent crush while his involvement in the endeavor was a lot deeper than that. For me the most intense part was when he first took her on a trip and mentioned quickly how he spied her crying which was something that he found that she did most nights. This was a disturbing thought because, although Lolita acts calm and collected on the outside and tries to joke or insult Humbert, it becomes obvious to a reader that she is just a child still and that this situation is far out of her control and desires. I really enjoyed the way the story was told in the past tense and directed to a jury where he was trying to rationalize his feelings, because I think Nabokov created an eerily solid argument for child molestation and the feelings of adoration that control Humbert’s mind. I did not, however, enjoy the book overall. I found myself waiting for a chase where Lolita exposes him – how did he get to this court situation where he is constantly addressing a jury? I was waiting for the moment when she would throw him to the police, but that never came. Instead he tracked her down when she asked for money and he quietly left when she denied him future company. It was pretty anticlimactic for me and I left the novel not fully understanding all the buzz about it. Maybe I just need to see the movie.

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