Saturday, March 7, 2015

Nabokov's Lolita

Reading Beloved, I am occasionally reminded of a book on my current reading list, Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. In the book, Nabokov explores a hypothetical sexual attraction of an adult man to a 12 year old girl. While the book discusses at length questions of morality regarding the crime of pedophilia (which we in the majority of our society regard as abhorrent), it is praised as a champion of literary progressivism and for its beautiful use of language. Similarly, some of the passages in Beloved--especially the intricate subtlety of her word choice and syntax--just sound nice and carry momentous weight. This aesthetic appeal tied with the importance of the writing aid in driving Morrison's messages home.

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