I reminded myself of the point Synamon made throughout the reading of Lolita. Now I think the difference in my response to The Silence of the Lambs and Lolita is that I've never personally known any cannabalistic serial killers, but have been acquainted with too many pedophiles. Pedophilia has touched many people in sad and damaging ways so that the controversy surrounding Lolita is understandable.
Every topic is fair game to a skilled writer, and no one I've read is more skilled than Nabokov. He is not presenting a justification for pedophilia. He is simply telling a story. I would no more engage in a debate about whether Nabokov was a secret pedophile than I would about whether Jim Thompson, author of The Killer Inside Me, was a secret sociopathic killer. Both skilled writers presented chillingly real protagonists.
I think that Lolita is a great book which is not to say that it is a pleasant book. What is most interesting are the ways that people see the book as expressed in reviews. Many blame Delores even though she fell into Hubert's control when she was twelve and had to survive without any personal power or help, especially in the late 1940's when people were even more likely to blame the victim than now. Others see it as an erotic book, a particularly disturbing view. It is often described as a love story. I just don't understand how anyone can read the book and miss that it is about a predator and his tragic young prey.
Delores has no voice in the book. She cannot tell her story. She is a victim in the book and beyond the book in the reviews of people who take Humbert's self-serving tale at face value. I remind myself that she isn't real...she is only a figment of Nabokov's imagination...and yet she breaks my heart.