Monday, June 4, 2007

The slow demise of a good front veiled by words.

I am on page 180 right now, and only recently has the beautiful writing of HH begun to wear off on me, as Nabokov finally starts to push the envelope, challenging you to swallow the more appalling thoughts that HH reveals, still calm and collected as if it were completely normal. Whereas, in the beginning, I was almost convinced that HH's deranged mind truly did mean it when he said he meant to keep Lolita pure, didn't want her to know, when he said that he simply wanted to safely and secretly satisfy himself without corrupting her - now I see that Nabokov is testing my boundaries, and the boundaries are not holding. He is finally revealing that the prior sympathy colored by lyrically strung sentences is unfounded, that in fact HH is truly a reprehensible character.

What really drove this home for me was the section where he imagined getting Lolita pregnant and preying upon their daughter, and even their granddaughter. I mean, as if pedophilia weren't enough, but incestuous pedophilia? That made my stomach turn, and it was hard to go on.

And yet, HH still does not waver in his writing. Even as his words become increasingly sinister, they still pulse with poetic fluidity. Isn't it amazing what someone good with words can get away with?? It screws up your judgment entirely.

I think Nabokov is really quite amazing in the way he is handling this. I don't think everyone could get away with making a sex offender seem this sympathetic for this long, and still maintain a perfect voice of composure in the face of objective insanity.

Many pages to go - I'm dying to know how this all ends up.

1 drops:

moonrat said...

Nabokov isn't MAKING you into a pervert. Obviously, the potential was there all along ;)

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