Bowie Ep. 9 - Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
It’s been included in several lists of best books, such as Times List of the 100 Best Novels, Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels, and more. Originally published in Paris in 1955, it was finally published in New York City in 1967. Our latest read is Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita.
And boy is it timely, given the release of the Leaving Neverland documentary and the Me Too movement. It’s the story of a middle aged literature professor / poet named Humbert Humbert, who is obsessed with a 12-year-old girl whom he calls Lolita, and with whom he becomes sexually involved after the death of her mother, once he is her guardian.
For such a hard subject to stomach, we actually found Nabokov’s writing to be quite beautiful. At the end of part one of the book, we found Humbert to be clever and funny, even though he is despicable. And we found Lolita to be somewhat annoying, even though she is the victim. Struggling with these dichotomies, we press on to part two (which is covered in our next episode), and the dichotomies melt away. But let’s save that for later. For now, please enjoy our conflicting emotions as we discuss of part one of Lolita: