Monday, September 19, 2005

Lolita having hot flashes

Play it: Lolita
Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul.
- Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita is fifty this week... of course that means it's nearly been fifty years since the name Lolita has been a reasonable option to name a daughter. Lolita became a cultural entered the lexicon of the english language as a sexually active or precocious young girl.

The book, understandably, had difficulty getting printed, as publishers feared they could be prosecuted on obscenity charges. Lolita ended up finding itself published in France by Olympia Press - which published plenty of serious novels (William H. Burroughs' Naked Lunch for one) along with plenty of pornography. Upon it's publication (and really ever since,) the book has split readers into two camps - one calling it a classic, the other finding it's subject matter to be immoral. Regardless of which camp a reader finds himself in, one thing that cannot be denied is that the language with which it was written is truly beautiful. Every sentence, every word is given such attention that you can't help but fall in love with the prose, even when the acts of H.H. would otherwise make your skin crawl. Outside of the prose, Lolita's other outstanding achievement is that in the end the reader is able to both despise and sympathise with the criminal H.H., and that truly takes a gift.

The playlist includes songs from the original movie (composed by the great Nelson Riddle,) the theme from Adrian Lynne's more recent remake (composed by the even greater Ennio Morricone,) along with probably the most recognizable musical cultural reference of Lolita - The Police's "Don't Stand So Close To Me."

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1 comment:

drake leLane said...


* "Lolita Ya Ya" - Nelson Riddle
* "Lolita" - Stereophonics
* "Lolita" - Suzanne Vega
* "Lolita" - Super Deluxe
* "Lolita" - Mario Lanza
* "Lolita" - Paw
* "Lolita" - Ennio Morricone
* "Lolita" - Lauren Hoffman
* "Main Title (Love Theme From "Lolita")" - Nelson Riddle
* "Don't Stand So Close To Me" - The Police