Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0002551, Fri, 14 Nov 1997 08:40:51 -0800

Lolita in _The Nation_ (fwd)
From: Jeff Edmunds <jhe@psulias.psu.edu>

In the November 24, 1997 issue of _The Nation_ there's an article by John
Leonard called "The New Puritanism: Who's Afraid of Lolita (We Are)."

The three-page article, preceded by a quote from Marx (Groucho that is:
"I've put off reading _Lolita_ for six years, till she's 18"), begins
"Maybe the new $60 million _Lolita_ is just a lousy movie, which wouldn't
amaze anybody who sat through any of director Adrian Lyne's previous
glitterdome gaudies...."

The rest of the article is less about the movie, or Nabokov, than about
American reception (or non-reception) of it and intolerance toward other
books and films, such as _The Tin Drum_.

The piece concludes:

"About Lolita, Humbert told us that she was 'the ideal consumer, the
subject and object of every foul poster,' to whom all advertising was
ultimately directed--and she would, of course, consume herself. In one of
those peculiar reversals of the very terms of hyperreality in which Nabokov
specialized, as if caught 'in the lining of time,' all our children are
nymphets, our adults are Humberts and Quiltys and Kinbotes, the culture we
dream in our sailor suits is an insect Zembla, and the face on the milk
carton in the supermarket is our own mug."