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Lolita

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 7 months ago

Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov about a man named Humbert Humbert who writes from prison about his love affair with a twelve year old girl named Dolores Haze (Lolita).

 

Summary


Lolita tells the story of a pedophile and his obsession with nymphets. Humbert Humbert begins his tale with an adolescent romance between him and his young love, Annabel. However, their love was not meant to be and she died of typhoid. Humbert tells of short flings with young prostitues and his many institutional stays, before ending up in Ramsdale, a small town in New England that will introduce Humbert Humbert with his object of desire, Lolita.

 

continued...

 

 

  

Ways in which this novel connects to New Media


The novel is considered to be hypertext fiction in that it has a nonliniar narrative. The best example of that being the Foreward, which basically tells the reader the whole story before it actually starts, but one can't understand it until he reads the actual story. Foreward doesn't have to be read before the story, in fact it will make more sense to the reader if it is read last, thus allowing the reader to "navigate" through the book as he would through a website. Lolita mentions other authors and stories that are real and can be looked up. Allowing the reader to investigate and attempt to pull more understanding to what Nabokov/Humbert is saying in those particular areas in the text.

 

Basically the novel was a very early ushering in of the 'information age' where the reader is compelled to gather more information whenever we can. Lolita acts as a 'hubworld' where the reader starts his journey. Alongside the basic narrative, he is fed information that is not expressed directly in the text. If the reader chooses to seek this information on his own time, he will find the novel a much richer, more rewarding experience. This type of interaction is very typical of many of the mediums categorized as 'new media.' Just as gamers must find all the 'widgets' in order to reveal their on-screen avatars 'complete' ending, so must the reader of Lolita perform his or her own detective work in order to see the story in its entirety.

 

 

 

Ways in which the novel is a traditional narrative


The novel works as a traditional narrative in that both the textons and scriptons remain the same throughout the book. Adding to this there is an original source to which people may refer to as the original text. While it is considered hypertext fiction, these links consist mostly of simple page turns, which the author may use as pauses. The author is mostly in control throughout the entire narrative for these reasons. Later versions add notes and further linking to which readers may obtain more power in their reading experience.

 

 

 

You Are What You Think


Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita is an abasement of the English language. Pedophilia is most definitely not something to make light of, and weaving together a story using intricate language about such acts in such a way as to encourage the reader to forget the seriousness of the crime and side with the criminal for even a moment as a sort of game is merely criminal in itself. Also interesting to note is that this use of language in such a way as to play with the mind of the reader, coupled with the subject matter itself, is perhaps a big reason that numerous individuals of various disciplines, in particular, psychologists, have studied this novel. Interestingly enough also is the fact that the author intended readers to fall into the trap of analyzing this from a psychological standpoint. Nevertheless, common knowledge and human experience show that what a person fills his or her mind with can eventually play out in action or attitude; therefore, writing a story about something of this nature in graphic detail is the equivalent of producing pornography since the graphic descriptions of the sordid events within the novel play vividly in the imaginations of even the most unsuspecting or non-visual readers. Ironically, even the character in the novel demonstrates this concept of becoming his own thoughts in the way in which he fills his mind with desires for so called "nymphets" and eventually acts on those thoughts and desires when the opportunity arises. Also not surprising is that American publishers would not touch this novel early on and that in actuality a pornographic publisher produced the first copies.

 

 

Seductiveness of Lolita: Did she ask for it?


Many people debate back and forth on Lolita's part in all of this. Was H.H. a victim of fate bound to his human desires? Or, was she an object to be used for the pleasure of a sick individual?

These questions are almost impossible to answer because our only take on this story is from H.H. he could have easily put the situations on a slant. And, if we choose to not accept that, then, J.R. JR specifically says he has made corrections to 'obvious solecisms'

 

 

 

Remediation


The novel has been made into a movie twice, once in 1962 by Stanley Kubrick and in 1997 by Adrian Lyne.

 

 

 

Movie ~vs~ Book 

It is no suprise that Lolita the book was made into a movie "movies", considering the fame and apauling nature of the book. Audiences and readers hold the movies in low regard when comparing the two medias in which the story is told. The complexity and superiority of the book is due to the fact that Nabokov attempted to confuse and manipulate the emotions of the reader with many differint twists and turns that diddnt rely on the storyline or plot. The movies fall short in this department due to the fact that they follow the stoyline and plot but dont stray away from typical movie guidlines, such as a timeline of events. The most predominant reason that the movie simply does not work is the fact that it would be unethical to show Humbert Humbert with Dolores, a twelve year old innocent little child and in the book Nabokov uses his writing to distract the reader from the simple fact that Dolores is a child. It is this distraction that allows the author to maniuplate the reader into feeling sympathetic towards Humbert Humbert.

 

 

 

Opinions 


Specific Opinions: ( List what you think and why )

 

Her Fault  

While the fact of fault is somewhat ambigious, some readers argue that Lolita was an instigator in the relationship between herself and Humbert Humbert.  Readers assume that Lolita was too young and naive to realize what was going on inside the head of Humbert.  There are many references to Lolita's sexual knowledge due to her time spent at the camp that disprove her ignorance.  She was very capable of stringing Humbert Humbert along and sparking his lust for her.

 

 

His Fault

The main argument to be brought up in relation to his guilt when discussing this is the simple fact that the story is mostly in his words. To accept Dolores as a seductress in this case is to fall into the authors trap and place trust in Humbert. It is only his word that set's up any fault in his Lolita. The entire trip revolves around his abusing her, while trying to distract the reader from this.

 

 

Related Wiki Pages


 

(Dave: I think also this page needs a greater discussion of the "themes" we talked about in this class, i.e. how it is/is not a mystery, what is the game Nabokov is playing, why the movie versions are or are not effective.)

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