Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME FORUMS BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:46 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 59 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Does reading Lolita make you feel "bad".... 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Better Thread Count than Your Best Linens

Silver Contributor

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 626
Thanks: 42
Thanked: 72 times in 56 posts
Gender: None specified

Post 
Quote:
I share you suspicion. It felt like almost a role reversal at times. As though Lolita was the predator and he was the vulnerable prey.


I do not agree with this when you take the novel as a whole. Yes, we are supposed to have some sympathy for Humbert, but only in that he is deluding himself and that he is a sorry mess of a man.
Quote:
Quote:
In 1959, novelist Robertson Davies excused the narrator entirely, writing that the theme of Lolita is "not the corruption of an innocent child by a cunning adult, but the exploitation of a weak adult by a corrupt child". from Wikipedia


I am very surprised that someone could write this after reading the novel, but perhaps Robertson Davies has had little education on adolescence and child psychology.

I agree with Theomanic's comments.



Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:03 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Thread Flintstone

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 887
Thanks: 122
Thanked: 191 times in 155 posts
Gender: None specified

Post 
In my earlier post, I was responding to the question at the top of this thread "does reading lolita make you feel bad?" In part, my answer to this is yes because I grew tired of seeing the world through Humbert's eyes. He was trying to persuade me that he was not to blame.

This is why I quoted Robertson Davies. His comment is provocative and, although I'm quite sure he's not an expert on adolescent psychology, he does know a thing or two about novels, which is what he is commenting on .. he is not passing judgement on rightness or wrongness but rather giving an opinion on the meaning of the novel. I don't agree with him personally but I think it is interesting that he came to such a conclusion.



Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:03 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Better Thread Count than Your Best Linens

Silver Contributor

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 626
Thanks: 42
Thanked: 72 times in 56 posts
Gender: None specified

Post 
Quote:
he does know a thing or two about novels, which is what he is commenting on ..


Good point and I see what you are saying.

The feeling I got from Humbert is that he wanted so badly to be able to show that he wasn't to blame, or that what he did was somehow forgivable, but inside he knew really that he was to blame, totally. He was telling the story as truthfully as he could, from the way it felt to him. I think Nobokov does a good job giving us just enough information through Lolita to see her as, not innocent, not corrupt, just a adolescent trying to adapt and survive in a confusing world.



Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:22 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Thread Flintstone

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 887
Thanks: 122
Thanked: 191 times in 155 posts
Gender: None specified

Post 
Mulling over Lolita, I see that Nabokov set a fine trap for me as a reader. Humbert's dual role as a perverted, monstrous, controlling pedophile on one hand and as narrator on the other hand, made me feel trapped and controlled, thus helping me identify with Lolita's entrapment. The sickening monotony of seeing the world through his eyes, thus being controlled by him, made me put the book down many times as the only way that I could resist him, that I could fight back. Lolita, unfortunately, did not have that choice.



Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:00 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Oddly Attracted to Books

Gold Contributor

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 1543
Location: France
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 33 times in 33 posts
Gender: Female
Country: France (fr)

Post 
Quote:
Mulling over Lolita, I see that Nabokov set a fine trap for me as a reader. Humbert's dual role as a perverted, monstrous, controlling pedophile on one hand and as narrator on the other hand, made me feel trapped and controlled, thus helping me identify with Lolita's entrapment. The sickening monotony of seeing the world through his eyes, thus being controlled by him, made me put the book down many times as the only way that I could resist him, that I could fight back. Lolita, unfortunately, did not have that choice.


I can identify with this evaluation Giselle. I read the book bit by bit, because I got so sick of his obsessions, it was difficult not to let them have an effect on me.


_________________
Ophelia.


Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:53 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Oddly Attracted to Books

Gold Contributor

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 1543
Location: France
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 33 times in 33 posts
Gender: Female
Country: France (fr)

Post 
One thought that keeps coming to my mind is this: we find this shocking because the girl was 12 and the man was her step-father and he managed to trap her. In our society 12 is no longer an acceptable age for a marriage, but what of other societies?
In many places in the world, take a Lolita situation where the girl's father has sold her to a man twice her age, and suddenly the whole thing gets society's approval, nothing could be more moral. The only difference between immorality (indignation, punishment) and morality (you close your eyes, whatever happens to the girl) is marriage, that is the father's decision.
So as I read Lolita yes, the imaginary situation is scandalous, but what about the millions of all-too-real marriages/enslavements where there is not even the luxury of indignation and recourse to the law?
In our own society it would have been thought to be perfectly moral just a few centuries ago. Once marriage (which can be a farce) has taken place, nobody thinks "child", "pervert", anymore.


_________________
Ophelia.


Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:09 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Thread Flintstone

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 887
Thanks: 122
Thanked: 191 times in 155 posts
Gender: None specified

Post 
Quote:
In our society 12 is no longer an acceptable age for a marriage, but what of other societies?

When viewed in a relativistic way, this argument makes some sense but we have to consider whether or not some absolute standard exists, where entrapment and abuse of a 12 year old girl by an adult is always wrong, regardless of when or where it happens. We do recognize standards of this nature through international conventions but it seems that often countries and cultures do what they want anyway. This fact does not make it right or justify it necessarily.



Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:54 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
All Star Member


Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 138
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
I read CNN in the mornings and at lunch. One of the biggest news stories coming out of the Middle East is that of child brides. There was a 42 year old man who married an 8 year old girl. This girl was forced to marry due to her father's debt to the said groom. The reporter later received a phone call from another woman whose daughters who are 12 & 14 were just married off due to her husband's debt. She was overcome with grief, anger, and fear. She has applied to several organizations that are actively trying to get the marriages reversed. In fact, there was a 8 year old girl who was granted a divorce from her 30-some husband in Paris.

So even in other cultures and regions, child brides are not acceptable. They are children and they should have the ability to be children not forced into an adult world.


_________________
If you obey all of the rules, you miss all of the fun.
--Katherine Hepburn


Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:38 am
Profile Email YIM
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Pop up Book Fanatic


Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Minnesota
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
I feel very differently then the rest of you. At first I was taken back by Lolita's situtation. I felt very bad for her. But I started thinking, she is a 12 year old, having sex with a middle aged man. But What if she was having sex with a 15 year old, or 14 year old. She had willingly had sex before. Even though she will see this as a mistake when she is older, it is still hers to make, and is that mistake any different then if a 15 year old has sex with an 18 year old or an 18 year old with any older person? Every person matures at a different pace, no means no, but Lolita didnt say no. There is no doubt it was a mistake for her to have sex with this man, I dont believe it was real love, but the trama done could be just as damaging if she was older. I view Lolita as a beautiful story, at first, I did feel bad. But now I dont, it changed my views. I use to believe an 18 year old and 15 year old was disgusting, but this book opened my mind to the possibility that just because our culture says its wrong, doesnt mean it is.



Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:45 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Upper Echelon 1st Class

BookTalk.org Moderator
Silver Contributor

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 2467
Location: New Jersey
Thanks: 502
Thanked: 407 times in 325 posts
Gender: Female
Country: United States (us)

Post Lolita
gothicmuffin wrote:

Quote:
Every person matures at a different pace, no means no, but Lolita didnt say no.


You are so right, you do have a different opinion from the previous posters, and possibly the vast majority of those who have read Lolita as well.

I am speachless, the only thing that comes to my mind, is, you have got to be kidding.



Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:25 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Pop up Book Fanatic


Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Minnesota
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
No, I know it seems so odd. I havent met a person who has agreed with me yet. But I cant help but see the book in a different light.



Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:13 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Upper Echelon 1st Class

BookTalk.org Moderator
Silver Contributor

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 2467
Location: New Jersey
Thanks: 502
Thanked: 407 times in 325 posts
Gender: Female
Country: United States (us)

Post Lolita
Hello gothicmuffin:

I can relate, I oftentimes see things differently than others. I once posted that I felt bad that HH was prevented by Lolita's mother from molesting her. :eek: Sick, huh? Goes to show how talented Nabokov was.

I just grabbed my copy, what has always interested me is the quote from "Vanity Fair" on the cover. It says, " The only convincing love story of our century". This is one bold statement. It's convincing in the respect that Humbert Humbert is so mezmerizing, I know I had to stop myself from believing him.



Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Pop up Book Fanatic


Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Minnesota
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
Perhaps I am letting myself fall victim to his convincing ways. Or maybe what I see now is my actual opinion on the matter, there is no doubt in my mind that HH wasnt a man I wanted my young daughter around, but to me making it illegal for a person to choose who they have sex with is wrong as long as it consentual.



Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:20 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Upper Echelon 1st Class

BookTalk.org Moderator
Silver Contributor

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 2467
Location: New Jersey
Thanks: 502
Thanked: 407 times in 325 posts
Gender: Female
Country: United States (us)

Post Lolita
Books are good for that, makes you discover how you feel on subjects outside of it's pages.

But, I do have to disagee, I don't think Lolita had much of a choice in the matter.



Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:41 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Pop up Book Fanatic


Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Minnesota
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
May I ask why? Id like to see another point of view, and maybe expand or change what I think.



Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:21 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 59 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:


BookTalk.org Links 
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Info for Authors & Publishers
Featured Book Suggestions
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!
    

Love to talk about books but don't have time for our book discussion forums? For casual book talk join us on Facebook.

Featured Books

Books by New Authors



Booktalk.org on Facebook 



BookTalk.org is a free book discussion group or online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a group. We host live author chats where booktalk members can interact with and interview authors. We give away free books to our members in book giveaway contests. Our booktalks are open to everybody who enjoys talking about books. Our book forums include book reviews, author interviews and book resources for readers and book lovers. Discussing books is our passion. We're a literature forum, or reading forum. Register a free book club account today! Suggest nonfiction and fiction books. Authors and publishers are welcome to advertise their books or ask for an author chat or author interview.


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSBOOKSTRANSCRIPTSOLD FORUMSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICY

BOOK FORUMS FOR ALL BOOKS WE HAVE DISCUSSED
Oliver Twist - by Charles DickensSense and Goodness Without God - by Richard CarrierFrankenstein - by Mary ShelleyThe Big Questions - by Simon BlackburnScience Was Born of Christianity - by Stacy TrasancosThe Happiness Hypothesis - by Jonathan HaidtA Game of Thrones - by George R. R. MartinTempesta's Dream - by Vincent LoCocoWhy Nations Fail - by Daron Acemoglu and James RobinsonThe Drowning Girl - Caitlin R. KiernanThe Consolations of the Forest - by Sylvain TessonThe Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion: The Mormons - by David FitzgeraldA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - by James JoyceThe Divine Comedy - by Dante AlighieriThe Magic of Reality - by Richard DawkinsDubliners - by James JoyceMy Name Is Red - by Orhan PamukThe World Until Yesterday - by Jared DiamondThe Man Who Was Thursday - by by G. K. ChestertonThe Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven PinkerLord Jim by Joseph ConradThe Hobbit by J. R. R. TolkienThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsAtlas Shrugged by Ayn RandThinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel KahnemanThe Righteous Mind - by Jonathan HaidtWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max BrooksMoby Dick: or, the Whale by Herman MelvilleA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer EganLost Memory of Skin: A Novel by Russell BanksThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. KuhnHobbes: Leviathan by Thomas HobbesThe House of the Spirits - by Isabel AllendeArguably: Essays by Christopher HitchensThe Falls: A Novel (P.S.) by Joyce Carol OatesChrist in Egypt by D.M. MurdockThe Glass Bead Game: A Novel by Hermann HesseA Devil's Chaplain by Richard DawkinsThe Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph CampbellThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainThe Moral Landscape by Sam HarrisThe Decameron by Giovanni BoccaccioThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Grand Design by Stephen HawkingThe Evolution of God by Robert WrightThe Tin Drum by Gunter GrassGood Omens by Neil GaimanPredictably Irrational by Dan ArielyThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki MurakamiALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean by Richard Logan & Tere Duperrault FassbenderDon Quixote by Miguel De CervantesMusicophilia by Oliver SacksDiary of a Madman and Other Stories by Nikolai GogolThe Passion of the Western Mind by Richard TarnasThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le GuinThe Genius of the Beast by Howard BloomAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Empire of Illusion by Chris HedgesThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner The Extended Phenotype by Richard DawkinsSmoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhen Good Thinking Goes Bad by Todd C. RinioloHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiAmerican Gods: A Novel by Neil GaimanPrimates and Philosophers by Frans de WaalThe Enormous Room by E.E. CummingsThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGod Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher HitchensThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama Paradise Lost by John Milton Bad Money by Kevin PhillipsThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettGodless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan BarkerThe Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienThe Limits of Power by Andrew BacevichLolita by Vladimir NabokovOrlando by Virginia Woolf On Being Certain by Robert A. Burton50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. HarrisonWalden: Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David ThoreauExile and the Kingdom by Albert CamusOur Inner Ape by Frans de WaalYour Inner Fish by Neil ShubinNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthyThe Age of American Unreason by Susan JacobyTen Theories of Human Nature by Leslie Stevenson & David HabermanHeart of Darkness by Joseph ConradThe Stuff of Thought by Stephen PinkerA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Lucifer Effect by Philip ZimbardoResponsibility and Judgment by Hannah ArendtInterventions by Noam ChomskyGodless in America by George A. RickerReligious Expression and the American Constitution by Franklyn S. HaimanDeep Economy by Phil McKibbenThe God Delusion by Richard DawkinsThe Third Chimpanzee by Jared DiamondThe Woman in the Dunes by Abe KoboEvolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie C. ScottThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanI, Claudius by Robert GravesBreaking The Spell by Daniel C. DennettA Peace to End All Peace by David FromkinThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe End of Faith by Sam HarrisEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonValue and Virtue in a Godless Universe by Erik J. WielenbergThe March by E. L DoctorowThe Ethical Brain by Michael GazzanigaFreethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan JacobyCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared DiamondThe Battle for God by Karen ArmstrongThe Future of Life by Edward O. WilsonWhat is Good? by A. C. GraylingCivilization and Its Enemies by Lee HarrisPale Blue Dot by Carl SaganHow We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God by Michael ShermerLooking for Spinoza by Antonio DamasioLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al FrankenThe Red Queen by Matt RidleyThe Blank Slate by Stephen PinkerUnweaving the Rainbow by Richard DawkinsAtheism: A Reader edited by S.T. JoshiGlobal Brain by Howard BloomThe Lucifer Principle by Howard BloomGuns, Germs and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Demon-Haunted World by Carl SaganBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownFuture Shock by Alvin Toffler

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOur Amazon.com SalesMassimo Pigliucci Rationally SpeakingOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism BooksFACTS Book Selections

cron
Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2014. All rights reserved.
Website developed by MidnightCoder.ca
Display Pagerank