Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lolita, Take Two

What struck me as most interesting about Tuesday's lecture was when Krzys mentioned the New York Times critic who said the first time she read Lolita she thought it was one of the funniest books she had read and the second time she read it, she thought it one of the saddest. I suppose this struck a chord with me because right now I'm going through those emotions in reverse.

I first stumbled across Lolita on my older sister's book shelf about five years ago. When I was fourteen, I had been thoroughly disturbed by H.H.'s actions and Lo's lost innocence. I found the book compelling yet depressing. Now, however, since I've started reading it again, my current reactions contrast completely with my prior ones. I still find the text just as irresistible, but now I can't help but be amused by the word play, such as when he describes her (Dolores Haze) as "dolorous and hazy," and more than once my room mate has caught me giggling uncontrollably from the wry narration. She asked me what the book was about, and when I told her, she replied with, "And that's funny?"

Clint was right. I find myself now disturbed that I am not disturbed, especially since I used to be.

Azar Nafisi said that "Humbert appears to us both as narrator and seducer--not just of Lolita but also of us, his readers[.]" So am I being seduced?

No comments:

Post a Comment