Prufrock's Page

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Take Notes, Lo

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary edition of Nabokov's Lolita, David Thomson informs us that it's ..."a novel about education."

Somewhat staggeringly, he goes on: "Humbert Humbert is a model of lifelong learning and intellectual ferment, a connoisseur and scholar who has come to the dark forests of New England to spread cultivation....So it is, along with the nymphet obsession, that the lofty Hum beholds Lo and wonders about darkness, the light and determining a grade; she’s a child he will not leave behind. And while he goes into raptures over her dorsal down, he cannot stifle plans for her chewing-gum mind."

(Update: The Boston Globe has an intelligent overview: "...
the most brilliant American novel of the 20th century, now a round and ripe 50 years old, tells us that the artist cannot live in the world as he lives in the world of words--and that this is a lesson worthy of expressing in the world of words.")


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