Originally Posted by desertblues
There is that, I agree. But ever since I read this journal of an obsessed man, I have been in two minds about this book.
Lolita actually nauseated me in many places. In the early chapters in his ramblings about nymphets I set the book down and considered whether I had been right never to have read it before. I was drawn back by Nabokov's beautiful mastery of the English language.
In Lolita we are seeing the events and people through the eyes and mind of a pedophile, a very sickening place to be. I despised Humbert throughout the entire book. I never felt a shred of empathy or compassion for him. But I felt tremendous compassion for his victim, Dolores.
What is most interesting for me are the many ways people see the book and Dolores. In many reviews I've read she is seen to be at least partly responsible for her situation. Some people see the book as a love story or erotica. As much as I looked forward to a discussion about Lolita, I was disturbed that it might win in the book club's romance category.
Throughout my reading of the book I was particularly offended by a critic's review describing Lolita as a love story. But by the end I began to think that in Humbert's crippled, poisoned brain he had come to feel something for Dolores that resembled actual love, but I'm not so sure that his emotions would have distilled into actually caring about her well-being had he not been separated from her. While she was in his control, in the conflict between his desires and Dolores's best interest, Delores would always lose.