Lolita Literary Criticism

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Vladimir Nabokov started writing Lolita while teaching at Cornell University in 1949. He continued writing the novel while traveling with his wife around the country on summer butterfly hunting trips (Nabokov was an esteemed lepidopterist, or butterfly specialist), and completed the novel in 1954. Publishers were predictably skittish about a story narrated by a pedophile, and it did not find its way into European print until 1955 (it was published in America in 1958). Controversy over the subject matter only inspired a wider readership; sales of the critically-acclaimed book and a 1962 cinematic translation (directed by Stanley Kubrick) enabled Nabokov to retire from teaching and concentrate on writing in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1960. Nabokov's Lolita (1955), his most noted novel in English, was ranked fourth in the list of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels;Pale Fire (1962) was ranked 53rd on the same list, and his memoir, Speak, Memory (1951), was listed eighth on the publisher's list of the 20th century's greatest nonfiction.He was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction seven times. Humbert Humbert – a pseudonym for the fictional writer and narrator of the book. He is a handsome, suave man in his forties. A pedophile who justifies his actions and tries to gain sympathy and support from the reader…show more content…
The story begins with a manuscript given to the author by a fictitious lawyer. Since the author is a clinical psychologist with a specialty in abnormal psychology, the lawyer, C.C. Clark has given him permission to publish the story if he uses pseudonyms. The original writer of the manuscript agreed to allow it to be published after the death of the girl. Since she, Lolita, had recently died in childbirth, and the writer of the manuscript, Humbert Humbert, had died in prison, Clark was sending it to John Ray, Jr., Ph. D. in hopes he would be able to use it in his
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