Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Silver-tongued Rapist in Vladimir Nabokovs Lolita Essay -- Naboko

The Silver-tongued Rapist in Lolita You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style. So says Humbert Humbert at the start of Lolita in his account to the Ladies and gentlemen of the jury (9). He refers to himself as a murderer (he is, after all, guilty of killing Quilty), not as a rapist, the distant more serious offense Lolita levels at him. That I, and everyone else who reads the book, call Dolores Haze by the name Lolita demonstrates the efficacy of Humberts fancy prose style - under the spell of his aesthetic mastery, we, the jury, moldiness bend to his subjective vision through memory, and thus we see the twelve-year-old nymphet as Lolita, as she is in Humberts arms. It is difficult to castigate Humbert when we see the world through his European eyes. Humberts main strength is his sense of humor. Nabokov is sure to throw Humberts way all the American kitsch he can handle - mostly in the form of Charlotte Haze. His slick insults sail over her head, but Humbert wins our approval by making sure we understand them. Similarly, we admire him be...

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