Lolita has been on my tbr list for months. I knew it was a classic and had a vague understanding of what it was about, but some reactions (which I now believe are to the film, at least I hope), how the word Lolita is used today, and just the cover of the book had put me off to Lolita. I then saw a post on Tumblr by user Gowns (see said post) that the cover was all wrong and didn’t reflect what the book was truly about and went against Vladimir Nabokov wishes. So I decided to it’s time to read Lolita.
Lolita is at times uncomfortable and upsetting to read, but it is suppose to be. Our narrative Humbert Humbert is a pedophile, he is aware what he likes is wrong and that acting on them makes him a monster. He does try to defend himself at times by putting the blame onto Lolita and other young girls for being seductive, but overall he straight up admits its all in his sick mind. That reason alone made me like this book. I liked that the sexual scenes were not put into great detail, the reader knows Humbert is buying Dolores things and letting her do things she wants in return for sexual favors, the detail of the sexual favors are not there and I greatly appreciate that. So why is the book so uncomfortable? Because it is written as a memoir from a pedophile’s point of view, Humbert is fully aware how he is ruining Dolores’ life, but continues on. Dolores isn’t even likable, but that doesn’t matter at all because what is happening to her is just awful. I did get kind of confused towards the end when she escapes. I first thought he was just being paranoid since he was breaking down mentally for a few chapters already and then Humbert suggest the reader already knows who took Dolores. No clues. But it all wraps up and it is explained what happened and Humbert seeks revenge. I also enjoyed you know from the beginning he is in jail, why he is writing his memoir and why they are released.
So I’m left with questions after finally reading Lolita. How did the word lolita come to mean a underage girl who seduces older men. Dolores did no such thing, and if you are refering to her initiating the first time they had sex, he is still a grown ass man and she was a child, a child cannot seduce someone. It’s disgusting people see it that way. It terrifies me people label Lolita as a romance book. Did you read the same book I did? Good lord. Why are so many of the covers of Lolita sexualizing a young girl? These questions are what kept me from reading Lolita for so long and now after reading the book I do not have an answer to them and just makes me question these issues even more so.