By Graham Vickers
In the summertime of 1958, a twelve-year-old woman took the area via storm—Lolita was released within the usa. This baby, so clean and alive, but so pitiable in her abuse by the hands of the novel's narrator, engendered outrage and sympathy alike, and has endured to take action ever since.
Yet Lolita's photo within the broader public awareness has replaced. now not a bit woman, Lolita has come to suggest a precocious temptress, a crafty underage vixen who'll cease at not anything to get her guy. How may this have happened?
Chasing Lolita, published at the 50th anniversary of Lolita's American e-book, is a necessary modern significant other to Vladimir Nabokov's nice novel. It establishes who Lolita relatively used to be again in 1958, explores her predecessors of all stripes, and examines the multitude of flicks, theatrical exhibits, literary spin-offs, artifacts, model, paintings, images, and tabloid excesses that experience distorted her id and stolen her identify. It considers not only the "Lolita effect" yet moving attitudes towards the consistently unstable mixture of intercourse, kids, and well known entertainment—from Victorian occasions to the current. And it additionally seems to be at a few real-life situations of younger women who turned the blameless sufferers of somebody else’s obsession—unhappy sisters to at least one of the main affecting heroines in American fiction, and the most largely misunderstood.
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Additional resources for Chasing Lolita: How Popular Culture Corrupted Nabokov's Little Girl All Over Again
Nabokov had sold the film rights of his book to James B. ” For a middle-aged actor to impersonate Humbert might be seen as no more than a risky professional challenge, but for a prepubescent girl to embody Lolita on-screen looked like a decidedly dangerous prospect. We may charitably assume that Nabokov’s otherwise absurd suggestion that a “dwarfess” be hired to play Lolita was simply a comment designed to avert any charge of being implicated in the corrupting of a living, breathing child. He had no need to worry; others would take care of the corrupting.
A slip of a girl, very fair, pale, with blue under the eyes—and of course she doesn’t even look at the old goat. What to do? Well, not long thinking, he ups and marries the widow. Okay. They settle down the three of them. Here you can go on indefinitely—the temptation, the eternal torment, the itch, the mad hopes. And the upshot—a miscalculation. Time flies, he gets older, she blossoms out—and not a sausage. Just walks by and scorches you with a look of contempt. Eh? D’you feel here a kind of Dostoevskian tragedy?
Baby Snooks was a fascinating if slightly disturbing creation that echoed—and ultimately extended—the silent movies’ fondness 32 Chasing Lolita for casting adult young women as very young girls. There is no evidence that Nabokov ever heard any of Fanny Brice’s many shows that featured Snooks, although he did vaguely recall the look but not the name of a cartoon strip little girl monster and referenced her in Lolita. Lolita’s closest identifiable fictional ancestor possessed no name at all, lilting or otherwise.
Chasing Lolita: How Popular Culture Corrupted Nabokov's Little Girl All Over Again by Graham Vickers