Sunday, October 20

First Look at Lolita

At some time or other, I was bound to read the immortal classic, Lolita.  It seems that hardly a week goes by that one of my lecturers doesn't bring it up in class, emphasising how brilliant it is in so many ways.

So I checked it out from the library and stole a few minutes to read the first few pages.  It didn't take long to get me wriggling in surprised delight.  

For your reading pleasure, a delectable excerpt from page 13.  

Stanley Kubrick film poster
I have reserved for the conclusion of my "Annabel" phase the account of our unsuccessful first tryst.  One night, she managed to deceive the vicious vigilance of her family.  In a nervous and slender-leaved mimosa grove at the back of their villa we found a perch on the ruins of a low stone wall.  Through the darkness and the tender trees we could see the arabesques of lighted windows which, touched up by the coloured inks of sensitive memory, appear to me now like playing cards - presumably because a bridge game was keeping the enemy busy.  She trembled and twitched as I kissed the corner of her parted lips and the hot lobe of her ear.  A cluster of stars palely glowed above us, between the silhouettes of long thin leaves; that vibrant sky seemed as naked as she was under her light frock.  Her saw her face in the sky, strangely distinct, as if it emitted a faint radiance of its own.         
 p 13 of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.  1955.

The imagery is so sensory and delicious.  I adore the playing cards reference, and the suggestion of the sky being as naked as Annabel is under her dress.  There's something so cool, dry, and fluttering about this.  

A word that Nabokov uses later is "biscuity" and I adore this word choice.  It seems to sum everything up for me.  The chapped lips, the cool but dry breeze, her lovely legs (which he goes on to describe)...  

I know many of you have read this book before, so don't give any spoiler away!  However, feel free to share your favourite passages.  I would love to hear them.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment to respond to my post or start a new conversation about whatever it is that you're passionate about.

If you don't have a Blogger or Google account, you can always leave an anonymous comment. Thankyou for taking the time!