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Lolita (1955 original; edició 1995)
de Craig Raine
Informació de l'obra
Lolita de Vladimir Nabokov (1955)
» 103 més
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I mean…it was ok…but this book, content aside, definitely made me question what makes a book a classic… ( )
Yes, the writing is beautiful, however I'm ready to be done with this book.....
Lolita is my favorite book of all time.
One has to admire Nabokov for two things at the very least. The first is his mastery of English despite not being born in an English speaking country. To be fair, he was raised speaking English alongside Russian and French, but it's never quite the same learning a language in a country where it's not commonly used.
The other, and this is more particular to "Lolita", is his ability to express the inner mind of his characters so deftly even when one is as repugnant as the protagonist of this story.
In fact, that he did this with Humbert is kind of disturbing. Not being a pedophile I cannot say if his exposition of Humbert's mind was accurate, but it was believable. I never once paused and thought to myself that something Nabokov had written seemed out of place or character.
I considered knocking off a star simply because of the themes, but then I came to my senses. The choice of theme was a disturbing one, not a bad one - and it is certain that this book is notorious enough that I need not worry that someone might read it based on its rating and not be aware of said themes.
As you can see from the edition, I listened, not read, this. The reader/performer was Jeremy Irons and he gave a masterful performance. It was his creepy reading of the initial chapters, where Humbert explains the qualities of nymphettes as well as why he is so drawn to them, that nearly made my put it aside.
Irons was as in-character - smug, arrogant, suave, sophisticated to a tee - as one would expect from a great actor. Five stars to you too, sir.
I finally got around to reading this book, which I know is probably making you think ‘about time’. Yeah, I know. As an English major I really should have read it before. Sue me. (Please don’t.)
I knew it would be a good book and I knew I would enjoy reading it. Here’s the thing I didn’t enjoy – how creepy it was. Did I anticipate an amount of creepiness? Of course. Did I anticipate it this much? Oh, no.
For those of you who haven’t yet read Lolita, the story is told by Humbert Humbert, a man who has recently passed away and who was convicted of murder, but has written down everything that has happened that led him to this point in his life, in an effort to defend himself and his misdeeds (although he is pretty unforgiveable). Humbert is a paedophile, plain and simple; Humbert even has a word for young beautiful women he’s attracted to – nymphets. Humbert loves them, and he can’t seem to be attracted to anybody but little girls who, he thinks, are so sexy that they’re asking for it.
And he’s fallen in love with a girl named Dolores, AKA Lo, AKA Lolita.
The novel details how Humbert will do absolutely anything to get his hands on her – murder, kidnap, the whole shebang of illegal things that he could get away with and keep the girl. He loves her with an intensity that is honestly terrifying and creepy and he will do anything to keep her under his watchful eyes. He takes her on road trips all over the country in an effort to placate her, moves her from schools and takes her somewhere where they can start afresh, and always telling people that he is her father. He contemplates murdering people who are getting in the way, he controls who she hangs out with and what she does. He, for all intents and purposes, becomes an abuser.
And Lolita, the smart lass, is doing her best to get out of it.
I really do like Lolita as a character. Humbert, while eloquent and intelligent, is a man who is so flawed that there is no redemption for him – he is, after all, doing very illegal things to keep doing one very terrible and illegal thing forever. Lolita, however, is a brilliant character who starts off an innocent child who is simply manipulating her guardian so that she can get what she wants. But she grows into a teenager who knows exactly what is happening, knows her guardian is abusive, and is trying her best to get out of the shitshow he’s dragged her into. And I love her resilience and her cunning, although the story is told by Humbert and so he just thinks of it as insolent and ungrateful. Lolita, unfortunately, does not have the happiest of endings (and here I’m talking about both the character and the novel), but she is a character who does the best of a shitty situation and, not only makes it work for her, but also makes it out alive.
I loved reading this book, especially because how amazing the language used is. For those of you with reservations about the book being erotic, don’t be afraid; there is only maybe one erotic scene the entire novel, and it happens pretty early on. The rest of the time, the novel simply focuses on Humber’s relationship with Lolita and how he will go to any length to make sure she is his forever.
Does Humbert love Lolita? Possibly. He definitely lusts after her as much as he loves her, but I do think that he does eventually fall in love with her. Whether this is cause for redemption is to be left up to individual readers, but I do think that Humbert is a terribly disgusting man (in a world invaded by them) and Lolita deserved better.
My final rating is 4/5. It’s a classic, and I do recommend it.
Es mostren 1-5 de 534 (següent | mostra-les totes)
35 livres cultes à lire au moins une fois dans sa vie
Quels sont les romans qu'il faut avoir lu absolument ? Un livre culte qui transcende, fait réfléchir, frissonner, rire ou pleurer… La littérature est indéniablement créatrice d’émotions. Si vous êtes adeptes des classiques, ces titres devraient vous plaire.
De temps en temps, il n'y a vraiment rien de mieux que de se poser devant un bon bouquin, et d'oublier un instant le monde réel. Mais si vous êtes une grosse lectrice ou un gros lecteur, et que vous avez épuisé le stock de votre bibliothèque personnelle, laissez-vous tenter par ces quelques classiques de la littérature.
Haven’t we been conditioned to feel that Lolita is sui generis, a black sheep, a bit of tasteful, indeed ‘beautiful’ erotica, and that Nabokov himself, with this particular novel, somehow got ‘carried away’? Great writers, however, never get carried away. Even pretty average writers never get carried away. People who write one novel and then go back to journalism or accountancy (‘Louder, bitch!’) – they get carried away. Lolita is more austere than rapturous, as all writing is; and I have come to see it, with increasing awe, as exactly the kind of novel that its predecessors are pointing towards...
At one point, comparing himself to Joyce, Nabokov said: ‘my English is patball to [his] champion game’. At another, he tabulated the rambling rumbles of Don Quixote as a tennis match (the Don taking it in four hard sets). And we all remember Lolita on the court, her form ‘excellent to superb’, according to her schoolmistress, but her grace ‘so sterile’, according to Humbert, ‘that she could not even win from panting me and my old fashioned lifting drive’. Now, although of course Joyce and Nabokov never met in competition, it seems to me that Nabokov was the more ‘complete’ player. Joyce appeared to be cruising about on all surfaces at once, and maddeningly indulged his trick shots on high-pressure points – his drop smash, his sidespun half-volley lob. Nabokov just went out there and did the business, all litheness, power and touch. Losing early in the French (say), Joyce would be off playing exhibitions in Casablanca with various arthritic legends, and working on his inside-out between-the-legs forehand dink; whereas Nabokov and his entourage would quit the rusty dust of Roland Garros for somewhere like Hull or Nailsea, to prepare for Wimbledon on our spurned and sodden grass.
The development of this emigre’s euphuism is a likely consequence of Nabokov’s having had to abandon his natural idiom, as he puts it, his ‘untrammelled, rich and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English, devoid of any of those apparatuses —the baffling mirror, the black velvet backdrop, the implied associations and traditions—which the native illusionist, fractails flying, can magically use to transcend the heritage in his own way.’ This, which enacts the problem with characteristic tricksy indirection, also implies its solution as the laborious confection of equivalent apparatuses in the adoptive language: the whole farrago of imagery, archaism, etc., which cannot strike even the most finely tuned foreign ear as it strikes that of the native English-speaker. The end product sadly invokes a Charles Atlas muscle-man of language as opposed to the healthy and useful adult...
There comes a point where the atrophy of moral sense, evident throughout this book, finally leads to dullness, fatuity and unreality. Humbert’s ‘love’ for Lolita is a matter of the senses, even of the membranes; his moments of remorse are few, brief and unconvincing; it never really occurs to him to ask himself just what the hell he thinks he is up to. There is plenty of self-absorption around us, heaven knows, but not enough on this scale to be worth writing about at length, just as the mad are much less interesting than the sane.
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.
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.
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(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)When it was published in 1955, "Lolita" immediately became a cause célèbre because of the freedom and sophistication with which it handled the unusual erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Vladimir Nabokov's wise, ironic, elegant masterpiece owes its stature as one of the twentieth century's novels of record not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story almost shocking in its beauty and tenderness. Awe and exhilaration-along with heartbreak and mordant wit-abound in this account 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, but most of all, it is a meditation on love-love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.With an Introduction by Martin Amis "From the Hardcover edition."
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)813.54Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
Fes-te Autor del LibraryThing.
Penguin Australia ha publicat 6 edicions d'aquest llibre.
Edicions: 014102349X, 0141037431, 0141193670, 024195164X, 0241953243, 0141197013