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Does reading Lolita make you feel "bad".... 
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Anyone watch Eastern Promises?



Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:17 pm
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Never heard of it. Feel free to fill us in.


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Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:00 pm
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It's a movie revolving around the diary of a Russian girl taken as a sex slave. Much of it has more to do with the workings of the Russian mafia however.



Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:03 pm
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Sheesh, I knew there was a reason why I was staying away from this thread. Is the Russian sex slave journal fiction in the form of a journal or is it based on an actual journal, like the Diary of Anne Frank? (I ask, muttering all the while in my head, I must be crazy. Why in the world would I even think about reading and discussing anything on this topic in the hours that I am not working?)


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Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:35 pm
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GR9,
Because things of this nature is like a train wreck. You don't want to see the carnage but you just can't turn away from it.


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Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:57 am
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Raving Lunatic said:
[quote:]
Because things of this nature is like a train wreck. You don't want to see the carnage but you just can't turn away from it. [/quote]

Thanks for demonstrating clearly and confirming to me why I should not discuss this here. Your words are a cliche that may be true in some instances, but when it comes to this issue, it doesn't apply for me. I'm not interested in turning to look at literal wrecks because I know I can't be of any help with that kind of injury and destruction and I just don't need any extra upsetting images in my mind. What is actually harder for me is being firm with myself about maintaining good personal boundaries for self-care around issues where I am tempted to feel that I could be of some help, because I can only if I don't wear myself out trying to address things outside of the scope of my influence. That said, I don't care what anyone else says next here; I'm leaving this string alone and sticking to addressing topics where I can be of service or interest and learn something interesting or valuable myself. If this is the level of engagement here, I can't.


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Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:00 pm
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I do apologize if I have upset you. However, I was only try to bring some humor to a very dark and haunting subject. Not too sure what else to say to your response.


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Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:29 pm
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Does reading Lolita make you feel bad?....


In a word. Yes. It disturbed me a lot. I felt bad that this 'relationship' was written about for entertainment. I felt bad that I laughed occasionally at some of the wit in it. I can't say that it is a book that I 'enjoyed' because frankly it creeped me out. Although, having said that, I would be more concerned if I wasn't disturbed by the content.



Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:56 am
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Quote:
I felt bad that this 'relationship' was written about for entertainment.


I did not think of it so much as entertainment, as food for thought. This kind of thing does exist in a world and even though Humbert was a fictional character his warped way of thinking and perverted desires are real.
How difficult it must be for people whose inner selves do not fit into our world and must fight themselves daily in order to be considered moral citizens. How can a society help people like that and protect innocent victims? A book like that can perhaps spark public interest in subjects that are taboo or subjects that are sometimes easier to ignore.



Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:04 pm
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Raving Lunatic wrote:
Quote:
I do apologize if I have upset you. However, I was only try to bring some humor to a very dark and haunting subject. Not too sure what else to say to your response.


Thanks, Raving Lune, it's not your fault. I get testy sometimes. This is too hard a topic for me to do well after everything I see in the course of my days and into my nights. My perspective gets narrowed and focused to just where it needs to be to do the specific things I need to do. It can't open back up all of a sudden at the end of the day to start addressing comments about poor perpetrators and involuntary staring at wrecks, however well-meant. Everybody comes to a situation with a perspective based on her or his life and experiences. Mine can't bring me here right now, but I wanted to let you know that I do know you didn't do anything wrong and I'm sorry I snapped at you.


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Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:05 pm
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No worries, my sense of humor is not only morbid and dark but is a very acquired taste.


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Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:11 pm
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GR9 said

Quote:
comments about poor perpetrators


I know the context of your remark was different but it made me think of something I read about Lolita:

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


What has made reading Lolita difficult for me is the sneaking suspicion that Nabokov may be trying to encourage sympathetic feelings for Humbert and this seems to worsen the situation (if that's even possible).

It is amazing that more than 50 years have passed since Lolita was written and I doubt we protect children any better than in Nabokov's day. This makes me feel bad.



Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:10 pm
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Unfortunately, that is the sad truth


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Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:18 pm
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giselle wrote:
What has made reading Lolita difficult for me is the sneaking suspicion that Nabokov may be trying to encourage sympathetic feelings for Humbert and this seems to worsen the situation (if that's even possible).


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.
That made me feel even more disturbed about the whole book.



Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:06 pm
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In regard to the comment that Nabakov encourages the reader to have sympathy for Humbert -- that's the point. Humbert isn't the devil, an incarnation of pure evil. He's a weak mortal man who is living a flawed life. But that does not mean he is beyond sympathy. The beauty of his story lies partially in the wrongness of the situation.

Is Humbert the seducee or seducer? I do not think we can hold children responsible for their actions. Regardless of what Lolita did or did not do, Humbert is in control of the situation and bears the blame for all that follows. What he does is unforgivable; he acknowledges that (to some degree).

I think one of my favourite quotes from the novel is a good encapsulation of the entire book.

"We had been everywhere. We had really seen nothing. And I catch myself thinking today that our long journey had only defiled with a sinuous trail of slime the lovely, trustful, dreamy, enormous country that by then, in retrospect, was no more to us than a collection of dog-eared maps, ruined tour books, old tires, and her sobs in the night — every night, every night — the moment I feigned sleep."

To dismiss this book as some sort of endorsement of child abuse is extremely close-minded. I think it's amazing that Nabokov managed to write something so disturbing, beautiful, and vile.


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Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:12 pm
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