"Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov

My future wife has inspired me to read the classics, in the past two years I’ve experienced Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and many more. It was still with a bit of trepidation I picked up Lolita. One of my favourite authors, Christopher Hitchens, recommended Nabokov as one of the greatest english writers despite english being Nabokovs second or third language, which intrigued me.

Lolita is in many ways a horrific story, the main character clearly a monster. It is redeemed however by the quality of the language, and the depictions of horror Nabokov relates. This is quite simply some of the best writing I’ve ever come across. Far beyond most authors.

Apparently, if you wish to expand your English, read a Russian author.

I won’t talk more about the actual topic of the book, instead I’ll let Nabokov explain why worrying about fiction is childish:

“That my novel does contain various allusions to the physiological urges of a pervert is quite true. But after all we are not children, not illiterate juvenile delinquents, not English public school boys who after a night of homosexual romps have to endure the peradox of reading the Ancients in expurgated versions.
It is childish to ody a work of fiction in order to gain information about a country or about a social class or about the author.”

— Vladimir Nabokov

“Although everybody should know that I detest symbols and allegories (which is due partly to my old feud with Freudian voodooism and partly to my loathing of generalizations devised by literary mythists and sociologists)...”

— Vladimir Nabokov