Humbert Humbert - scholar, aesthete and romantic - has fallen completely and utterly in love with Lolita Haze, his landlady's gum-snapping, silky skinned twelve-year-old daughter. Reluctantly agreeing to marry Mrs Haze just to be close to Lolita, Humbert suffers greatly in the pursuit of romance; but when Lo herself starts looking for attention elsewhere, he will carry her off on a desperate cross-country misadventure, all in the name of Love. Hilarious, flamboyant, heart-breaking and full of ingenious word play, Lolita is an immaculate, unforgettable masterpiece of obsession, delusion and lust.
I’m going out on a short limb to assume that this is the very first edition, published by Olympia in Paris when no one else would touch it, and famously typo-ridden.
It was soon picked up by Putnam in the US and personally corrected by Nabokov, but I appreciate that we have access to the first publication of a classic novel, as flawed as it was.
That should have been in the description, though.
The story itself is a beautifully written, rarely told, and fascinating journey through the mind of a very ill man.
Those taking the easy moral high ground who’d say the book would be better off burned would do well to remember that we cannot just make the less desirable in our society disappear, nor should the conversation be avoided or the voices from the “other side” be silenced. Especially if those voices are coming from people in very serious need of mental healthcare.
Only by taking a very uncomfortable look at societal ills can we ever hope to understand the source of them. And only by understanding could we ever hope to treat them.
Omissions and Typos
This digital editions omits the essential foreward and is filled with typos, some more ridiculous and confounding than others. Widows are referred to as windows in one case, and while this might be construed as a Nabokovian flourish, it makes it impossible to distinguish between what is authorial misinformation and what is merely a poor algorithmic transcription. The omission of the foreward is criminal. Find a better edition.
Is this the original novel? Because there is another version that cost 12 usd!