How beautiful. What a poet. When you hear "gifted author" it's those like Nabokov they're talking about. What I would give to be able to write like him! This book is absolutely relatable for any human being who has ever experienced love. Love takes many forms. Love is never black or white, but grey, grey, grey. "Grey" being used frequently as the book goes on is fitting.
It is for those of us (all of us) who have had "wrong", "misplaced" and unrequited love in whatever the form may have been or may be. What a deep portrait is painted for us in Humbert! Yes, he clearly is stunted in his sexual development due to his Ephebophilia. But it is a very real thing and the "controversy" comes from a book written with his point of view. It is taboo in society.
But people are people and made the people they are by the strange string of events that make up a life. By what you endure, the hand fate deals you, and the cruel mistress of time. So why not hear this story?
His story is told with great humanity and background, making us sorry for the love and happiness he'll never have. Lolita, too, is a character held accountable by her promiscuity, by the fact that the one she does love is also a much older man, and by the fact that she (dear reader!) seduces him. Of course one can argue she's a child manipulated. But she plays her game too, and is not painted as an innocent by any means. If she were, we'd have a far different tale on our hands.
By the time they have the conversation when she is married and pregnant, I was choked up with my sorrow for Humbert. "He broke my heart. You broke my life". Even when he had her, he never had her.
We can relate to the just out of reach kind of love. We can relate to madness, jealousy and paranoia that comes hand in hand with that just out of reach kind of love. The point of the book is when Humbert says, " It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight."
I hardly considered this an erotic novel, since any descriptive or exploitative sex is omitted. What an author to build and describe the longing before anything actually happens that it is actually palpable to the reader.
I also believe everyone has flashes (to various extents) of a "strange" attraction, or fetish. Most will deny or push away to fit a norm. We all have dark thoughts and feelings at one time or another, we just vary in the depths of it. How deeply we acknowledge, connect to, and live it.
I am sorry for Humbert as his sexuality remains stunted, and his body ages (in wonderful and terribly sad words), knowing he is surpassing...the outside isn't a match for the inside.
This sparks discussion of the double standard. This novel to some is "dirty" or "bad", but why is it "hot" or "okay" for "MILFS" to get excited over the heartthrobs of "Twilight" or "High School Musical"?
Youth is always attractive.
Also, I'm sure parents feel something differently with this story as well. But, Lolita is not six (again, would have been a FAR different story). I also know how I felt and what I thought during her range of ages in the book and, well, I was not always in a "little girl" mindset, either. Given the chance, who knows what I would have been capable of?
It is not a story of right or wrong, but a meditation on crossing the line. There is no going back, and what happens when the point of no return ends horribly wrong. This is not a happy love story.
I loved it. Every word. I was hooked from word one. In my top five books of all time.
"And the rest is rust and stardust."