Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov.
This is the second time I have tried to read this and to be honest it didn’t get any easier.
The first time I tried to read it I was probably a little too young to appreciate it, the reason I wanted to read it was because I was told that it was based on Charlie Chaplin’s relationship with Lita Gray and as a Chaplin fangirl I wanted to see if there were actually any parallels between the two relationships. This time round I read it because I was invited to join a book group and this was the first book we were all supposed to read and comment on.
So for those who don’t know, Lolita is the story of Hubert Humbert, told in his own words. His life centres around his desire for very young girls and one in particular who got his heart racing whom he has nick named Lolita and was the daughter of his landlady and the relationship that the two struck up.
I wanted to like this, I really did because its a classic and that earns you kudos and also because there were bits that did make me smirk in an ironic kind of way because the whole thing is pretty funny despite the subject matter. But (you all knew that was coming right?) I just found it hard to get into.
That and I didn’t sympathise with any of the characters. Hubert is a tortured soul, the whole premise is whether or not he is a monster or a victim, he is the way he is and he knows that its wrong and no matter how funny or charming he is, the fact still remains that he gets off on sexualising children.
Lolita is a victim of his, but I couldn’t help but think that maybe she deserved everything she got, which is a horrible thing for me to think because I don’t think girls or women should deny themselves the chance to be alluring if that’s how they are but she is fourteen years old and she is teasing him in a way that fourteen year olds should not be doing. She plays up to the fact that he is in love with her, she seems to enjoy the power that she has over him and I didn’t like it. It creeped me out.
I’m not saying it was bad or that I wouldn’t recommend it. Its just not for me Im afraid.