Friday, May 29, 2015

Nabokov's Lolita Now

New Republic has an interesting article on Nabokov's LOLITA

Lolita occupies a curious cultural space in all of this. On the one hand, the endless cultural re-fashioning of Lolita over the past 60 years (from Stanley Kubrick to Lana Del Rey) has turned Lolita into the archetype of the alluring child, the very definition of a “precociously seductive girl.” On the other, the novel itself constitutes a vicious satire of a culture that fetishizes young girls—a culture that openly celebrates, in songs like “When You Were Sweet Sixteen,” “Sixteen Candles,” and “Sweet Little Sixteen,” the exact instant that a girl crosses the threshold into legal fuckability—while simultaneously loathing pedophilia as an absolute moral evil on par with genocide. Crucial to Nabokov’s satire is the fact that Humbert gets precisely what he wants: Some of the most spine-tingling moments in Lolita come from the casual manner in which Humbert reminds us that he is sleeping with his step-daughter: 

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