Genre– Contemporary Literature
The first critique shall be on the novel Lolita by the outstanding Vladimir Nabokov. Unfortunately, up to now I had only heard of the famous Lolita, but after reading over and over the beautifully written novel, I cannot understand how it was not read sooner. With little research I discovered that it took almost ten years to develop, this being identifiable within its magnificent individual literary form. Written on the gritty subject of the middle aged man ‘Humbert Humbert’ falling into an unrequited obsession over his twelve year old step daughter, the novel was banned for almost two years upon its release. The pain Humbert expresses is heart wrenching, and the disgust he develops for himself over the matter stays with a reader. Written in a melancholic personal style, Nabakov is able to switch a readers imagination from lustful images to disturbing depiction’s, letting one understand the absolute torture of such an experience. Of course though, in places humour can be seen, the puns and neologisms cause it to stand out and give a little light relief to his character and more importantly, the reader. As controversial as it may be, the beauty behind the emotions and events described give an intellectual and mature approach to contemporary literature, and the reader forgets that the descriptions are of lust for a “nymphet”. We as readers are so absorbed in Humbert’s emotional perception, that we do not see Lolita’s personality to it’s full extent. To only see the images such as his hand brushing against her leg or how she flutters her eyes, causes an arousing description- and only a flirtatious persona is portrayed. However, I personally believe that this focus on her beauty and the obsession that is instantaneously developed is incredible, and something that most writers will never be able to achieve in such a way that Nabokov has.
I absolutely recommend this novel to all with an open mind, and although in parts it may seem distressing and eroticised, one can only see through that with the incredible form and style Nabokov has developed through an addictive intellectual character.