[lit-ideas] Re: Reading Lolita in Tehran

  • From: John McCreery <mccreery@xxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 4 Apr 2004 17:38:37 +0900

On 2004/04/04, at 4:32, Scribe1865@xxxxxxx wrote:

> In a message dated 4/3/2004 6:46:49 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx writes:
> Yes, I reflected later that it might have to do also
> with cherishing individuality, not only with women's
> liberation.
> On one level, _Lolita_ works as a study of an artist understanding a
> character, bridging the gap between creation and creator, and by 
> extension, one person
> recognizing another.
> Many of Nabokov's novels are about this recognition of the other. 
> Consider
> _Despair_ where the narrator never comes to terms with the fact that 
> the person
> he has chosen as his perfect double doesn't look like him at all. Or
> _Invitation to a Beheading_ which turns on the protagonist's 
> recognition that he has
> created his own jail and execution.
> The greatest moment of recognition Humbert gets, in my opinion, is at 
> the
> very end of the book, when he drives up a mountainside and hears the 
> voices of
> school children at play echoing up from the valley below. Then he has 
> a glimpse
> of the life he has stolen from Dolores Haze, when he made her into 
> Lolita.

This is, IMHO, a reading that Azar Nafisi would find congenial. 
_Invitation to a Beheading_ also pops up several times in _Reading 
Lolita in Tehran_.

John L. McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd.
55-13-202 Miyagaya, Nishi-ku
Yokohama, Japan 220-0006

Tel 81-45-314-9324
Email mccreery@xxxxxxx

"Making Symbols is Our Business"

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