Alright, confession time. I knew, or at least had heard and accepted without much actual mental processing, the basic concept of Lolita. It’s about an older dude who… falls in love with?? (or so I had been told) a young girl. A reaaal young girl. But it had been mentioned so often, and with none of the revulsion I hear when people talk about pedophiles.
I think maybe what threw me was that it’s a capital-C Classic book. When I think classic literature, I don’t know about you, but I think Scarlet Letter, Tale of Two Cities. Things with morals. Books that have been determined, by a jury of Literary Elites, to be Good For You.
Lolita is no such book. This book is disgusting. It’s a rotting, putrid story wrapped up in finely-woven prose. The sentences are so beautifully crafted, so cleverly written, that I suppressed the sickening feeling illicited by Humbert Humbert’s prurient descriptions of “nymphets,” his romanticism about historical pedophiles, his young love affair that haunts him still.
But Humber Humbert does not restrain himself to trysts with prostitutes and lecherous gazing at the lecherous young girls that he deems “nymphets.” His description of these “nymphets” is heinous in itself: to his mind, these are young girls who know of their sexual desirability to older men and are willing to act on it. This sick fantasy gives Humbert permission to prey on these girls, but he never acts on it because he deems himself too cowardly.
Then he meets Dolores Haze, the Lolita of the novel’s title. She, too him, is the epitome of seductive childhood. He describes his lust for her, and then, in one scene, how he gets off secretly as she sits on his lap.
Right now, I’m not sure if I am going to continue reading this book. It is masterfully written, but guys, this is a deeply-disturbing look into the mind of a monster.
Also, anyone who says Lolita is a love story is wrong and should feel bad.