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1955, by Vladimir Nabokov
The protagonist and unreliable narrator, a French middle-aged literature professor under the pseudonym Humbert Humbert, is obsessed with an American 12-year-old girl, Dolores Haze, whom he sexually molests after he becomes her stepfather. "Lolita" is his private nickname for Dolores.
The main themes of the novel include: language and communication, love, youth, innocence, justice and judgment, morality and ethics, and visions of America. Lolita is also filled with sordid subjects, including rape, murder, pedophilia, and incest.
Humbert Humbert, Dolores (Lolita) Haze, Clare Quilty, Charlotte Haze, Annabel Leigh, Valeria, Jean Farlow, John Farlow
The novel is narrated by Humbert, who riddles the narrative with word play and his wry observations of American culture. The novel's flamboyant style is characterized by double entendres, multilingual puns, anagrams, and coinages such as nymphet, a word that has since had a life of its own and can be found in most dictionaries, and the lesser-used "faunlet". Most writers see Humbert as an unreliable narrator and credit Nabokov's powers as an ironist.
The novel was adapted into a film by Stanley Kubrick in 1962, and another film by Adrian Lyne in 1997. It has also been adapted several times for the stage and has been the subject of two operas, two ballets, and an acclaimed, but commercially unsuccessful, Broadway musical. It has been included in several lists of best books, such as Time's List of the 100 Best Novels, Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century, Bokklubben World Library, Modern Library's 100 Best Novels, and The Big Read.
“It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.”
“And the rest is rust and stardust.”
“Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece”
“Words without experience are meaningless.”
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