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Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov. 
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I'll add a few lines about Poe's Annabel Lee poem.

It prefaces the novel with what seems to be a reference to purity.
Also, it makes Humbert sound almost respectable for a while: after all, it's a beautiful poem, I learnt it in high school, there can't be anything wrong with it.
It introduces the theme of child and bride (not in the same line in the poem).
Humbert calls both Annabel and Lolita his "bride", and here he changes the meaning of the word to suit his fancy.


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Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:38 pm
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I am still waiting on my copy. Getting antsy for it.



Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:15 pm
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I'll write a quotation from Nabokov's interview in the youtube video mentioned above.
Nabokov refers to a story he read in a newspaper:

Quote:
The story of an ape, given a piece of charcoal.
The first thing he sketched was the bars of his own cage.
(...) My baboon, Humbert humbert, is drawing exactly that. He is drawing and shading and erasing and redrawing the bars of his cage, the bars between him and, as he calls it "the human herd".


Have you got any comments to write about this quote as you read Lolita?


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Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:45 pm
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First let me say, I finally got my copy and started reading it right away.

Second, on the quote. I would have to agree. As I said before it is like he is trying to justify his actions. But when in reality, we are beginning to see him (well, me anyway) as a sad, sad man.

Case in point, Humbert was talking about his nymphets. Then he explains their age range which is 9-14. He says the loves this age because they are developing that look, that certain power that if developed right can rule the world. But they can not mature over 14. Then he goes on to justify that so many writers and cultures in history have proven him right. The problem is that in history they did that (such as marrying them off at 12, selling to harems, or arranging marriages at birth) because the human life expectancy was thirty to forty years old.

Well, I am still very intrigued by this book because I am wondering just how far he is willing to go with this infatuation.

The one thing that keeps coming back to me is this question. Who has the control?



Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:55 pm
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The foreword to Lolita.

I think it is worth discussing.
This is from one of the sites i referred to above:

Quote:
Lolita begins with an earnest foreword, purportedly written by one John Ray, Jr., Ph.D., author of Do the Senses Make Sense? (whose initials-- "J.R., Jr."-- echo as suspiciously as "Humbert Humbert"). Why might Nabokov have chosen to frame his novel in this fashion? What is the effect of knowing that the narrative's three main characters are already dead--and, in a sense, nonexistent, since their names have been changed?


Having the foreword written by a fictitious writer is intriguing.
John Ray prefaces a books supposedly written by Humbert in prison while awaiting his trial-- which, we learn, never took place, since H H "died in legal captivity, of coronory thrombosis, in 1952, a few days before his trial was scheduled to start."

We are told about the strange name, Humbert Humbert: "This remarkable memoir is presented intact. Its author's bizarre cognomen (last name) is his own invention;"

"I have no intention to glorify H.H. No doubt, he is horrible, he is abject, a moral leprosy, a mixture of ferocity and jocularity that betrays supreme misery perhaps, but is not conductive to attractiveness. He is ponderously capricious. Many of his casual opinions on the people and the scenery of this country are ludicrous. A desperate honesty that throbs through his confession does not absolve him from sins of diabolical cunning. He is abnormal. He is not a gentleman."

I think the author is trying to protect himself from accusations from his future readers.

So, for the moment, I have two questions:

1- Why did Nabokov introduce John Ray to write the foreword ?

2- As we read the novel, do we find the sentences quoted above to be a true description and analysis?


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Last edited by Ophelia on Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:25 am
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I think that the foreword was written in order to let the reader know that Nabokov is not a "dirty old man". In fact, he doesn't agree with his character, Humbert Humbert. Maybe this foreword could have been written as an afterthought upon the completion. Just to let his readers know that this character is not accepted in our civilized society.

As far as the quoted lines we will have to wait and see.



Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:41 pm
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Ophelia and Raving Lunatic, what are your thoughts on having this book as an official discussion? Right now it is just the two of you and perhaps 1 extra person discussing this book. Would you like this book advertised up top as an official discussion? If so during what months?



Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:39 pm
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I think that is a marvelous idea. I know that Ophelia and I are both reading it now. Doesn't matter to me when. Ophelia what are you thoughts?



Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:25 pm
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Thanks for the suggestion Chris, this is just great.
This is a book that deserves a few more readers.

Now, as to when: after "The Things they carried" means January.... it would be a shame to stop the momentum that has been started, even if it's only two people. What about November 1st, to give potential readers the time to buy a copy?


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Sun Sep 28, 2008 8:36 pm
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So what is the decision on this? Should I postpone reading any further or let it rip?



Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:50 am
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Sorry, I know I was supposed to be in on this but I am way to busy with school now. Hopefully I will have some time near to Christmas to post some thoughts.


:D



Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:36 pm
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Maybe we should have Lolita be the book for March April?



Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:48 am
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Yeah hopefully, I never even got to vote for the next two fiction books so I am struggling to catch up with those to begin with.

Next fiction book should be voted on not just chosen like the last two have been, or maybe I missed the week where that happened.



Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:35 pm
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I am not sure what happened with that the last two months selections. I thought everyone was on board for Lolita and then boom! Not so much.


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Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:52 pm
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I concur, well I have the book i just can't get into it right now.

Personally I would like to wait until the next two books are done and then try to get this one made official. That way the most possible people are on page. If it does not make it then I say we start a new thread and continue on without front-page support.

Or you could post thoughts and wait until other people catch up by say the end of this month.

Part of the problem is that I really want to read Orlando now but I haven't even had the chance to start as it is not in my hands yet.

Thoughts?



Last edited by Grim on Wed Oct 01, 2008 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:08 pm
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