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Lolita, 50th Anniversary Edition by Vladimir…

Lolita, 50th Anniversary Edition (original 1955; edition 1989)

by Vladimir Nabokov

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
22,18633756 (4.14)1 / 909
Title:Lolita, 50th Anniversary Edition
Authors:Vladimir Nabokov
Info:Vintage (1989), Editie: 1st,, Paperback, 317 pagina's
Collections:Gelezen 2013, Your library

Work details

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955)

  1. 40
    The Lover by Marguerite Duras (roby72)
  2. 41
    Memories of my Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (heidialice, browner56)
    heidialice: Possibly too obvious of a recommendation? Very different takes on this central theme....
    browner56: Two different views of obsession masquerading as love; both books are so well written that you almost forget the sordid nature of the theme they share.
  3. 20
    The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler (zembla)
    zembla: Handler is a confessed 'Nabokov freak,' as he said when I saw him at a reading two years ago. He absorbs the influence beautifully.
  4. 20
    The Captive by Marcel Proust (caflores)
  5. 10
    The Sea by John Banville (StevenTX)
    StevenTX: The Sea is also a story about a man's life twisted by his memories of a childhood romance by the sea. The outcome is quite different, but the language and themes of memory are similar.
  6. 10
    The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch (Queenofcups)
    Queenofcups: I heard many echoes of Lolita in reading The Black Prince. Anyone else find this to be the case?
  7. 21
    Taming the Beast by Emily Maguire (infiniteletters)
  8. 10
    The Pornographer of Vienna by Lewis Crofts (heidijane)
  9. 00
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (kara.shamy)
  10. 00
    The North China Lover by Marguerite Duras (edwinbcn)
    edwinbcn: Another story of a man with a passion for a young girl.
  11. 00
    The Death of David Debrizzi by Paul Micou (KayCliff)
  12. 00
    Eve by James Hadley Chase (caflores)
  13. 00
    The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (mcenroeucsb)
  14. 01
    The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker (suniru)
  15. 02
    The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (kara.shamy)
  16. 03
    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (kara.shamy)
  17. 04
    Hamlet by William Shakespeare (kara.shamy)
  18. 06
    Belinda by Anne Rice (rcc)
    rcc: IF you're "shocked" by Nabokov's Lolita, you surely should read Belinda. It takes off where Lolita ends. What I mean to say is that Anne Rice showed herself to be much more adpet - and daring - at writing about this "taboo" concerning the sexual adventures of a very young girl. Also, Belinda is so much more her "own woman" than Lolita.… (more)
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English (316)  Dutch (8)  Spanish (5)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Portuguese (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Hebrew (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (339)
Showing 1-5 of 316 (next | show all)
@lolita +le_ton
  Lorem | Sep 28, 2015 |
This is one *sexy* book. I hope a reader is not perverted by default for thinking so. For those not familiar with the plot, it is about a French expat who immigrates to America, falls in love with a twelve-year-old girl, marries her mother, murders her mother (without the daughter's knowledge), then seduces the daughter, taking her on a two year, cross country road trip love affair. Told in any other way, this would be nothing but a typical murder-mystery or crime drama. But Nabokov not only tells the story from the villian's point of view (and villians, of course, never think of themselves as evil). He goes further, and tells the story from the point of view of a gentlemanly, aristocratic, extraordinarily well-read and well educated anti-hero. From this vantage point, he is the romantic tragic hero, and his darling Lolita is not just an object of his desire, but a love of his life. While the reader conjures modern, ugly images of pedophilia, abduction, rape, and murder, the narrator spins the tale of a great, yet star-crossed love affair.

The prose is the most startlingly colorful and advanced I can ever remember reading. Nabokov wrote most of his novels in Russian, and this is his only English novel. In the afterward, he laments that his half-grasp upon the English language held the book back from fulfilling its potential. I am shellshocked at such a sentiment. Not only was I humbled by his vocabulary, frequent insertion of French phrases, and cultural references, I was also taken with the sheer literary quality of the prose. It is erotic without being vulgar. It is stylized without being inaccessible. And of course it is appalling without being alienating. It is not unlike Poe's treatment of "A Tell-Tale Heart," where the narrator knows he is a villian, but romanticizes his actions nonetheless. This book will shock, challenge, and believe it or not, entertain. ( )
1 vote Victor_A_Davis | Sep 18, 2015 |
One of the most well written books I've ever read...despite the subject. ( )
  PiperUp | Aug 14, 2015 |
The book's notorious subject matter makes it difficult to read at times, but the prose is well worth it. The book's anti-hero, though a hero in his own mind, is Humbert Humbert, who is writing a memoir of sorts about his love for "nymphets." In short, he is an unabashed pedophile and defends his actions throughout the book. He imagines himself a sympathetic character and pleads his case to the reader, who cannot but help recoil further away from him, leaving him in his madness. An expatriate from Europe, he prides himself on his cultured manners in contrast to the American bumpkins around him, fully cementing him as an "other" by choice.

The story speeds through Humbert's early life and finally slows down when he meets the titular "Lolita," who is actually a pre-teen girl named Dolores. It is Humbert who gives her the exotic moniker, in a trend of him projecting his sexual thoughts and feelings onto her throughout the book. The girl instantly becomes his obsession, so much so that he marries her mother in order to remain close to her, then kidnaps her on a wild two-year road trip after her mother dies. Humbert's arrogance and his pedophilia go hand in hand. He wants Dolores as his lover, so he takes her. He gets annoyed when Dolores acts like a child despite his many attempts to refine her, completely oblivious to the fact that she is a child. The very thing that attracts hims also repulses him. He wants Dolores, but on his terms, terms which do not exist because they are utterly wrong. Yet Humbert cannot admit he is in the wrong; he'll quote examples from history and state laws at the reader, yet the one thing he never considers is Dolores' feelings. He threatens and cajoles the girl to extract sexual favors, and in his paranoia imagines she is playing sexual games back at him. He imagines that Dolores has power over him, but it is he who has the power. He has the money, the car, and the hanging threat of dropping her off into the unknown in a foster home.

There are those who read this book and believe Humbert is sympathetic, and Dolores manipulative, and they completely miss Nabokov's point. Humbert is not supposed to be sympathetic. He is intelligent and witty, but the reader is not meant to sympathize with him. Nabokov drives the point home with little clues that even Humbert can't miss, such as Dolores crying when she thinks she's alone. It is a story of one man's madness and the lengths to which he will deceive even himself to preserve his madness.
2 vote StoutHearted | Aug 13, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 316 (next | show all)
Brilliantly written ... a disquietingly sombre exposure of a pervert's mind, and finally dreadfully moral in its almost melodramatic summing up pf the wages of this particular sin.
added by Sylak | editDaily Mail, Kenneth Allsop
Massive, unflagging, moral, exqusitely shaped, enormously vital, enormously funny - Lolita iscertain of a permanent place on the very highest shelf of the world's didactic literature.
added by Sylak | editThe Spectator, Bernard Levin
A scarifying indictment of the kind of perversion with which it deals.
added by Sylak | editSunday Dispatch, Lord Boothby
I am sure that the future will exonerate Lolita from the charge of pornography as compleately as we have exonerated Ulysses.
added by Sylak | editSaturday Review, Granville Hicks
Some readers may find Lolita offensive. It is a strange combination of roman noir and hot-potato. But more accurately it is an authentic work of art which compels our immediate response and serious reflection _ a revealing and indispensable comedy of horrors.
added by Sylak | editSan Francisco Chronicle, Lewis Vogler

» Add other authors (51 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nabokov, Vladimirprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amis, MartinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Amis, MartinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
康雄, 大久保Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coutinho, M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daurella, JosepTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Irons, JeremyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kahane, ÉricTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ray, John J., Jr.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verhoef, RienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
正, 若島翻訳secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palette to tap, at three, on the teeth.
Lolita, mitt livs lys, mine lenders flamme. Min synd, min sjel. Lo-li-ta: tungespissen tripper tre trinn nedover ganen for til slutt på det tredje å tromme mot fortennene. Lo. Li. Ta.
Hun var Lo, rett og slett Lo om morgenen når hun stod der 1,54 på sokkelesten. Hun var Lola i slacks, hun var Dolly på skolen. Hun var Dolores når hun signerte på den prikkete linjen. Men i mine armer var hun alltid Lolita.
Noen fortalt meg senere at hun hadde vært forelsket i far og at han tankeløst hadde benyttet seg av det en dag tilværelsen var riktig grå og hadde glemt det igjen da solen atter begynte å skinne.
Nå satt jeg og tenkte på om Valechka (som obersten kalte henne) egentlig var verdt skyting, kvelning eller drukning. Hun hadde svært ømfintlige ben, så jeg bestemte meg til å nøye meg med å klype henne kraftig når vi ble alene.
Fra forfatterens etterord: Om de fant det pornografisk eller ikke, interesserer meg ikke. Når de ikke ville anta boken, skyldtes det ikke min behandling av emnet, men emnet selv; for det er minst tre emner som er absolutt tabu hva flertallet av amerikanske forleggere angår. De to andre er: et neger-hvit-ekteskap som er en fullstendig og strålende suksess med tallrike barn og barnebarn, samt den absolutte ateist som lever et lykkelig og nyttig liv og sover seg inn i døden hunde og seks år gammel.
He did not use a fountain pen which fact, as any psycho-analyst will tell you, meant that the patient was a repressed undinist.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine Lolita with The Annotated Lolita.
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Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
Awe and exhilaration - along with heartbreak and mordant wit - abound in Lotlita, Vladimir 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 hyper civilized 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.
Haiku summary
Not a love story
Road trip for slick pedophiles
Genius writing, though.
Pedophile's urge in
Sexist culture of U.S.
Each kills the spirit!
Lubricious nymphets
And exuberant wordplay.
Now who's this Quilty?

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679723161, Paperback)

Despite its lascivious reputation, the pleasures of Lolita are as much intellectual as erogenous. It is a love story with the power to raise both chuckles and eyebrows. Humbert Humbert is a European intellectual adrift in America, haunted by memories of a lost adolescent love. When he meets his ideal nymphet in the shape of 12-year-old Dolores Haze, he constructs an elaborate plot to seduce her, but first he must get rid of her mother. In spite of his diabolical wit, reality proves to be more slippery than Humbert's feverish fantasies, and Lolita refuses to conform to his image of the perfect lover.

Playfully perverse in form as well as content, riddled with puns and literary allusions, Nabokov's 1955 novel is a hymn to the Russian-born author's delight in his adopted language. Indeed, readers who want to probe all of its allusive nooks and crannies will need to consult the annotated edition. Lolita is undoubtedly, brazenly erotic, but the eroticism springs less from the "frail honey-hued shoulders ... the silky supple bare back" of little Lo than it does from the wantonly gorgeous prose that Humbert uses to recount his forbidden passion:

She was musical and apple-sweet ... Lola the bobby-soxer, devouring her immemorial fruit, singing through its juice ... and every movement she made, every shuffle and ripple, helped me to conceal and to improve the secret system of tactile correspondence between beast and beauty--between my gagged, bursting beast and the beauty of her dimpled body in its innocent cotton frock.
Much has been made of Lolita as metaphor, perhaps because the love affair at its heart is so troubling. Humbert represents the formal, educated Old World of Europe, while Lolita is America: ripening, beautiful, but not too bright and a little vulgar. Nabokov delights in exploring the intercourse between these cultures, and the passages where Humbert describes the suburbs and strip malls and motels of postwar America are filled with both attraction and repulsion, "those restaurants where the holy spirit of Huncan Dines had descended upon the cute paper napkins and cottage-cheese-crested salads." Yet however tempting the novel's symbolism may be, its chief delight--and power--lies in the character of Humbert Humbert. He, at least as he tells it, is no seedy skulker, no twisted destroyer of innocence. Instead, Nabokov's celebrated mouthpiece is erudite and witty, even at his most depraved. Humbert can't help it--linguistic jouissance is as important to him as the satisfaction of his arrested libido. --Simon Leake

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:34 -0400)

(see all 12 descriptions)

The most controversial classic novel of the 20th century, Lolita tells the story of Humbert Humbert, a middle-aged man who is aroused to erotic desire only by a young girl. Awe and exhilaration--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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 16 descriptions

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4 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

7 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014102349X, 014118504X, 0141037431, 0141193670, 024195164X, 0241953243, 0141197013

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