Lolita

Lolita

3.88 (504,418 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In this Readers' Guide, Christine Clegg examines the critical history of "Lolita" through a broad range of interpretations. Although early criticism of the text polarized around 'that' question - is it literature or pornography? - the influence of American critics such as Lionel Trilling quickly secured canonical status for the novel. A compelling aspect of "Lolita" criticism is the way in which that question continues to return in different forms. In the 1980s and 1990s, "Lolita" has been the subject of diverse critical attention, beyond 'Nabokov Studies': from Richard Rorty's philosophical inquiry into the ethics of cruelty, to Rachel Bowlby's feminist analysis of the rhetoric of consumer culture in the novel. All of the main critical approaches to the novel are covered by this indispensable sourcebook.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 127 x 195.58 x 17.78mm | 226.8g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • 0140188223
  • 9780140188226

Review Text

The subject matter, of a middle-aged man desiring a young girl, a nymphet of 12 at the beginning of their affair, was so outrageous that the sheer delicacy and also the wit of the writing was hardly commented on. Lolita was not, in fact, about sex - it was about love and it was about erotic emotion, not any kind of pornography. Humbert is one of the most self-aware narrators in contemporary fiction, and mocks, and derides, and lashes himself with wonderful energy. He sees himself as others see him and is merciless in attacking what he is doing to Lolita, quite clear-eyed about what she is doing to herself. None of Nabokov's other work has the vitality and beauty of this extraordinary novel. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

504,418 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 36% (180,590)
4 32% (160,776)
3 21% (105,978)
2 7% (36,361)
1 4% (20,713)
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