Boyd, Brian. Girl Misinterpreted. 2019

Author(s)
Bibliographic title
Girl Misinterpreted
Publisher, city
Periodical or collection
The Listener
Page(s)
26-29
Publication year
Comment

Boyd's own title had been "Unreal Lolitas."

Abstract

Review article on Sarah Weinman, The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World.

Weisman tries to claim that “much of the novel’s structure” depends on the Sally Horner case, which Nabokov “pilfered” or “strip-mined.” But the evidence of Lolita and its composition refute her. . . . Nabokov had already constructed the fictional Lolita from multiple sources in literature, life, libraries, and imagination when he encountered the Sally Horner case. The Lolita he formed, the real Lolita—not the “fast little article” into which careless readers or others still remoter from the book corrupted her—stands for all the real cases he knew, including, eventually, Sally Horner’s, and for the many he knew went unknown.