Advanced Creepology: Re-Reading “Lolita”

Michael Doliner in CounterPunch:

Lolita-2Creeps are big in the news these days and it is a truth universally acknowledged that all American creepiness is a Russian plot the notorious KGB agent, Vladimir Nabokov, hatched with his novel, Lolita. Humbert Humbert, it’s pseudonymous narrator, everyone agrees, is a creep. But he is not a run-of-the-mill creep. Humbert is not a creep because women find him disgusting and he tries to touch them, water-cooler style. On the contrary, he is quite “attractive” to women, that is women he finds, well… creepy. No, Humbert is a creep because he desires prepubescent “nymphets” and he is a 42-year-old man.

The novel, Lolita, with a couple of additions, is Humbert’s “confession”, the story of how he met the Hazes, mother and daughter, discovered that the girl, Dolores, was the nymphet, Lolita, then violated, imprisoned and lost her. Only through Humbert do we know anything about Lolita. Only Humbert can see Lolita. So without Humbert, Lolita would not exist. She would have remained Dolores Haze with the fate John Ray Jr. PhD., another Nabokov nom de plume reveals in his forward to Humbert’s confession. According to Ray, she dies as Mrs. Richard F. Schiller, in childbirth in Alaska. Even Mrs Richard F. Schiller would never have been mentioned without Humbert, for Ray would not have written his forward without Humbert’s confession.

More here.