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Lolita: Literary Art or Pedo Porn?


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#1 Libertine

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Posted May 12 2006 - 07:17 AM

I love classic books. As a matter of fact I probably read material that most people in the modern era would look twice at. I love classic short stories and I am a huge Orwell fan.

However Nabokov's "Lolita" has always intrigued me from two areas. One is the masterful literary quality of the story and the other is the controversial issue it tackles from the point of the "offender".

I enjoy the book (and also have it on audiobook as well), but a co-worker of mine objects to the book being on my bookshelf at work (in my own office) because she considers it a nod to sex with underage girls. Although I can see that and do believe that the current media promotes this image through popular entertainment and advertising, I believe Nabokov's book is not to viewed in that light.

A poll is here for your vote and your thoughts are appreciated.

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#2 Flight From Ashiya

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Posted May 12 2006 - 07:44 AM

This is one of my all- time favourite works of fiction.Vladimir Nabakov ran the gauntlet of 'censure' & 'moral indignation' in 1950s America.
Humbert Humbert is every lonely middle-aged man who yearns for the love of a beautiful nymphet.
The sinister Quilty is obviously a 'child-pornographer' but the book doesn't indicate this directly.He makes 'blue-movies' & gets Lolita to appear in one.
Peter Sellers played the character superbly(see photo below),with an un-nerving sinister portrayal in the Stanley Kubrick film from 1962.
This film is fairly true to the book but puts the ending at the front.
I don't think there is anything 'objectionable' within the text of the book.Really it is a simple romantic love story with tragic consequences.
The book sparked such controversy that it was banned in both the U.S.A. & the U.K for most of the 1950s.
It was -surprise,surprise - a million-selling paperback bestseller by the early 1960s.


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-The sinister Quity backstage whilst Lolita,on the right,enters the stage for her school play performance.






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#3 SunLion

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Posted May 27 2006 - 12:17 PM

...a co-worker of mine objects to the book being on my bookshelf at work (in my own office) because she considers it a nod to sex with underage girls.

Is she from Iran, or Saudi Arabia?
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#4 Mr. Mojo Risin'

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Posted June 01 2006 - 08:53 AM

Literary Pedo Art-Porn
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#5 Crosslight

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Posted June 01 2006 - 07:40 PM

So she knew what the book was about.......and not for just watching the cover.....anyway you can always change it by some other book like Kamasutra, just to see how she reacts...............
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#6 Ann-Akim

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Posted June 16 2006 - 12:36 PM

Oh gosh, more easier pls,
it is an ordinary book by Russian Genius Nabokov. But, all ordinary books by Russians are the greatest masterpieces in the World.
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#7 Stillravenmad

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Posted June 18 2006 - 07:37 PM

Humbert Humbert is an antagonistic character. Just because the story was told from his prospective doesn't mean it's condoning anything.

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#8 indian~summer

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Posted June 18 2006 - 07:47 PM

i have never read it but i know some forms of 'classic literature' that could be debated over...such as the author Lewis Carroll and his books
he wrote alice in wonderland to entertain the little girls he was obsessed with, he was also a photographer...guess what all his photographs were of...

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#9 wiccan_witch

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Posted July 12 2006 - 05:16 PM

From memory I believe Lewis Carroll was a victim of pedophilia himself.

#10 severedheadstoner

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Posted July 13 2006 - 12:23 AM

*edit

#11 Shambhala Peace

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Posted July 19 2006 - 04:05 AM

'Lolita' is one of my favorite works of art.

'Lo-li-ta'
Lo.
Dolly.
Li.
Doloris.
ta.
Nymphet.

Heh. Had to get that out of the way.

People who cry that "Lolita" is about pedophilia have either: a) not read the book, b) didn't get it. Chances are, your co-worker only read the back of the book and is regurgitating what she heard someone else say. "Lolita" is a love story, albeit twisted, it is Humbert Humbert confessing his love for a pre-pubescent nymphet while he is in jail for murder. We, the reader, discover he has been able to indulge in that love after Mrs. Haze's death. The novel then becomes sort of a roadmap of the United States, which allowed American's to truly appreciate what they have.

It is ultimately about the European/American love affair. Superficially it is a man raping a child - but then again, she isn't very innocent about it - is she? It is also about recapturing youth. Ask any doubting Thomas if they haven't yearned to be younger? To Humbert, the only way to achieve this is to sleep and therefore take the essence of the child.

Nabokov sets the story up so we can't HELP but love our dear narrator, and feel bad for him and his situation. We are so certain that he killed his darling Dolly, that when we reach the end, we breathe a sigh of relief to know she is alive and well.

And if that doesn't work, and you insist upon having a Nabokov work on your book shelf, might I suggest "Enchanter"? It's a pre-cursor to "Lolita". Not that many people know about it, and you can still give your props to him that way.

I could go on and on about "Lolita", but I'll stop. For now. :)

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#12 cerridwen

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Posted July 21 2006 - 09:51 AM

I think it's pretty Classic....
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#13 robertt

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Posted August 02 2006 - 05:09 PM

In the same regard, I was worried about the reception for my own novel because a prepubescent girl ends up falling in love with an android when she's in high school. I'm a therapist in a children's mental health program and it would be really embarrassing if someone regarded my first novel as too "R rated." Anyway, it includes dialogue that is realistic for the today's age brackets, even if some want to pretend otherwise.

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#14 okeefe

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Posted August 06 2006 - 07:07 AM

Is there any specific reason you posted this three times?

"Lolita" is a love story, albeit twisted, it is Humbert Humbert confessing his love for a pre-pubescent nymphet while he is in jail for murder. We, the reader, discover he has been able to indulge in that love after Mrs. Haze's death. The novel then becomes sort of a roadmap of the United States, which allowed American's to truly appreciate what they have.

It is ultimately about the European/American love affair. Superficially it is a man raping a child - but then again, she isn't very innocent about it - is she? It is also about recapturing youth. Ask any doubting Thomas if they haven't yearned to be younger? To Humbert, the only way to achieve this is to sleep and therefore take the essence of the child.

This sounds almost identical to a couple published reviews I have read...I'm assuming you read them as well..? Or maybe you have thoughts of your own on the book?

Nabokov sets the story up so we can't HELP but love our dear narrator, and feel bad for him and his situation. We are so certain that he killed his darling Dolly, that when we reach the end, we breathe a sigh of relief to know she is alive and well.

She dies in childbirth the end. You have read the book, haven't you?
And we CAN help but love our dear pedophile. It is to Nabokov's credit he can inhabit a fictional character with such veracity. But I don't feel bad for him in the least. It's a great novel and I enjoy Nabokov's writing immensely, but it is a love story in Humbert's eyes only. It is a tragedy - they all die in the end.

imho :H
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#15 myself

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Posted August 12 2006 - 02:01 AM

I love classic books. As a matter of fact I probably read material that most people in the modern era would look twice at. I love classic short stories and I am a huge Orwell fan.

However Nabokov's "Lolita" has always intrigued me from two areas. One is the masterful literary quality of the story and the other is the controversial issue it tackles from the point of the "offender".

I enjoy the book (and also have it on audiobook as well), but a co-worker of mine objects to the book being on my bookshelf at work (in my own office) because she considers it a nod to sex with underage girls. Although I can see that and do believe that the current media promotes this image through popular entertainment and advertising, I believe Nabokov's book is not to viewed in that light.

A poll is here for your vote and your thoughts are appreciated.


"Lolita" is situated at an intersection of literary trends - Modernism and Postmodernism and contains elements of both. It may be read on many levels. The literary technique is valuable indeed and if you study American literature you will have to stop and read this book.
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#16 Sininabin

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Posted August 24 2006 - 09:58 PM

if theis is old thread i'm sorry to bring it back, but i must say something about lolita

personally, i'm don't mean in a sexist way but i belive that their is a primal, and masculine yearning in the book, that would be harder for a women to understand to man.

Their is pages of enjoyable things to describe in the book, but what i belive brings it past just being a novel novel, is the way nabokov describe humbert, lusting love for lolita. that alone makes me wish i could talk with nabokov how he stumbled on to the emotion he describes in their realtionship.

a classic literture, i couldn't really say. a book that should be read by everyone, and part of any real book collection;definitly
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#17 insanejester

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Posted August 24 2006 - 10:31 PM

Fiction is fiction... it's meant to explore another side of humanity that society says we can't act out... nothing wrong with writing or reading about it... or writing or reading anything for that matter.

#18 tigerlily

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Posted August 24 2006 - 10:47 PM

From memory I believe Lewis Carroll was a victim of pedophilia himself.


most pedophiles are... or were, rather.
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#19 oily-fish

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Posted January 02 2009 - 06:57 AM

Originally Posted by wiccan_witch
From memory I believe Lewis Carroll was a victim of pedophilia himself

The P word means "sexual attraction to pubescents".. so your sentence does not make sense.. but I know what you are trying to say..

most pedophiles are... or were, rather.


They are ? Since there has been no independant research done into the condition known as pedophilia ... no such conclusion can be drawn.

In fact, this myth arises from the studies of convicted sex-offenders (who have used the claim of being 'abused' as mitigation).




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