Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita - The Shocking Lolita Essay examples

Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita - The Shocking Lolita Essay examples

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The Shocking Lolita

     Vladimir Nabokov wrote Lolita not only to create controversy and shock the public, but also for money and fame. Nabokov wrote Lolita to get attention. This novel engages moral dilemmas that are sensitive to its readers. The sensitive subject matter created such a controversy that it perpetuated sales and made it a bestseller, and he knew that if he wrote a book shocking and personal enough he would become wealthy. The novel speaks as though it were a lived event which adds to the intensity of Humbert's actions and to the shock of the reader. The delivery and depth of his thoughts make one think this is a true story, and the effect can be that the reader finds the action even more appalling.


Simon Karlinsky once declared that the publication of Lolita in America and England signaled the final "collapse of the Victorian moralistic censorship that had persisted in Western countries till the end of the 1950's"(Iannone 54). Alternatively, Nabokov states, "Lolita has no moral in tow. For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstacy) is the norm"(314). This statement is taken from the epilogue that he wrote after the novel to state his intentions. The work has no other meaning than to shock the reader. None. Why would Nabokov bother taking the time to write a three hundred page novel just for the sake of "aesthetic bliss"(314)? Although he dismisses it entirely, moral issues arise quickly in this novel. The first moral is that by the age of twelve, one American girl has already been "hop...

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.... With the new release Nabokov will get more of what he wanted. On the INTERNET if one searches for the key word "Lolita", the reader will find several thousand locations in which the word "Lolita" is synonymous with pornography. Whether or not this is how Nabokov wanted to be remembered, Lolita has its place on the INTERNET. Though we may never know what drove Nabokov to write Lolita, it is still a great novel though immoral.


Works Cited

Boyd, Brian. "The Year of Lolita'." The New York Times Book Review 8 Sept. 1991: 1-33.

Iannone, Carol. "From Lolita' to Piss Christ'." Commentary Vol. 89, n. 1, Jan. 1990: 52-54. "Lolita and the Critics." New Republic Vol. 139, 27 Oct. 1958: 3. Nabokov, Vladimir. The Annotated Lolita. New York: Vintage Books, 1991.

Schuman, Samuel. Vladimir Nabokov, a Reference Guide. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1979.


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