Saturday, May 28, 2011

Aimless Reading: The N's, Part 1 (Vladimir Nabokov)

Lolita by Michael_Kelleher
Lolita, a photo by Michael_Kelleher on Flickr.

Nabokov, Vladimir
Lolita


This book belongs to Lori. She bought it at a flea market for ten dollars. It just happened to be a first edition hardcover. According to Bookfinder, it is worth between $100 and $125 now. It would be worth three times that, I guess, if it still had a dust jacket. Anyhow, it's one of the few books of any monetary value in my library. As I've mentioned before, I am more of a reader than a collector. My books contain memories, and that is where their value lies.

from Lolita

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.

Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.

1 comment:

wordfunhouse said...

my wife hated her given name "lolita" thanks to nabokov, then the internet google

she hated the movie too

she changed it

odd aside: thomas merton was a nabokov groupie, kept trying to get him to answer his letters...no response: merton, upset in his hermitage bungalow

if you're a good enough artist you can get away with so much, maybe too much....

it's a fine line but can cross if you have a fine line, apparently