Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0003297, Tue, 11 Aug 1998 15:25:20 -0700

A. N. Wilson and Lolita's Influence (fwd)
From: Susan Sweeney <sweeney@holycross.edu>

Under the title "Timid 'Dream' teeters around pedophilia," Bill Marx
recently reviewed A. N. Wilson's new novel in the Boston Globe:

Any serious novel dealing with pedophilia has one advantage these days: As
evidenced by the hoopla generated by Adrian Lyne's new film version of
"Lolita," the cocktail-party buzz can be yours for the asking.
Predictably, Norton is marketing A. N. Wilson's "Dream Children" as "a
`Lolita' for our times," implying that Nabokov's 1955 masterpiece is a
slowpoke in the fast lanes of the '90s. But the Russian master's blend of
macabre love story, morality tale, and satiric travelogue is very
difficult to duplicate, and Wilson's slapdash comedy falls prey to the
difficulty that besets any fiction on sexual relations between adults and
children--how to move beyond shock value to art. In other words,
Wilson--a British writer best known here for his comic novels--is no
Nabokov, and Oliver Gold, his tortured middle-aged lover of girlish flesh,
is no Humbert Humbert. . . .

Susan Elizabeth Sweeney
Associate Professor of English
Holy Cross College