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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Reading Lolita in Westlake #004

"Lolita" is a book about cruelty, I am now convinced. While it didn't take me long to see that, I had to over-step the depravity of the book before I recognized its true deviance. Last night I read the scene where Humbert Humbert visits the pregnant Lolita and her "lamb of a husband" Schiller. The devastation is total as the narrator realizes how far he is from his bliss. His act of giving Lolita money becomes a delayed act of reversed prostitution; the narrator not paying for the services but the other way around... him paying for his role as seducer and child molester. Martin Amis explains the cruelty of the late part of the novel this way: "Humbert is surpassingly cruel in using Lolita for the play of his wit and the play of his prose--his prose, which sometimes resembles the 'sweat-drenched finery' that 'a brute of forty' may casually and legally shed (in both hemispheres, as a scandalized Humbert notes) before thrusting 'himself up to the hilt into his youthful bride'". The cruelty of his act is then felt through the stylistic language the child-girl cannot understand. He is a manipulator, an executor. And just when things cannot get worst (or so it seems) the 'executioner' decides to kill his rival and in a way kill himself (cruelty towards self using a vehicle from without). I can't wait to see where the book might turn next. Reading "Lolita" has been an academic exercise of sorts, but it has also been an enjoyable trip through a real gem of modernist/postmodernist literature. The last installment to come soon!

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2 Comments:

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Fabiola said...

Gracias por tu comentario en mi Blog.

Si supiera algo de inglés leería tus publicaciones, pero no tengo idea de tu idioma jajaja.

Saludos, y nuevamente muchas gracias.

 
At 4:34 AM, Blogger Cathy said...

Hello JCR...I just stopped to remind you of our stories that will be posted today. I couldn't find an email address for you. Actually I did find one but it didn't work..

I can't wait to read your story!...:)

 

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