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Lolita

A$35.00
(Hardback)
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Overview

Lolita is a 1955 novel written by Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov. The novel is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, a middle-aged literature professor under the pseudonym Humbert Humbert, is obsessed with a 12-year-old girl, Dolores Haze, with whom he becomes sexually involved after he becomes her stepfather. "Lolita" is his private nickname for Dolores. The novel was originally written in English and first published in Paris in 1955 by Olympia Press. Later it was translated into Russian by Nabokov himself and published in New York City in 1967 by Phaedra Publishers.Lolita quickly attained a classic status. 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. Its assimilation into popular culture is such that the name "Lolita" has been used to imply that a young girl is sexually precocious. Many authors consider it the greatest work of the 20th century.The novel is prefaced by a fictitious foreword by one John Ray Jr., an editor of psychology books. Ray states that he is presenting a memoir written by a man using the pseudonym "Humbert Humbert", who had recently died of heart disease while awaiting a murder trial in jail. The memoir begins with Humbert's birth in Paris in 1910. He spends his childhood on the French Riviera, where he falls in love with his friend Annabel Leigh. This youthful and physically unfulfilled love is interrupted by Annabel's premature death from typhus, which causes Humbert to become sexually obsessed with a specific type of girl, aged 9 to 14, whom he refers to as "nymphets". After graduation, Humbert works as an English teacher and begins editing an academic literary textbook. Before the outbreak of World War II, Humbert moves to New York. In 1947, he moves to Ramsdale, a small town in New England, where he can calmly continue working on his book. The house that he intends to live in is destroyed in a fire, and in his search for a new home, he meets the widow Charlotte Haze, who is accepting tenants. Humbert visits Charlotte's residence out of politeness and initially intends to decline her offer. However, Charlotte leads Humbert to her garden, where her 12-year-old daughter Dolores (also variably known as Dolly, Lo, Lola, and Lolita) is sunbathing. Humbert sees in Dolores the perfect nymphet, the embodiment of his old love Annabel, and quickly decides to move in.

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