Lolita: A Janus Text

Overview

The crude details of Vladimir Nabokov's story Lolita are well known: The protagonist, Humbert Humbert, marries a widow in order to seduce her provocative teen-aged daughter, Lolita. He succeeds beyond his wildest dreams, becoming in the process not only a child molester (of Lolita) but a murderer (of her lover Quilty). These facts of the story have never been in dispute, but their import has often been the subject of confusion and controversy. Even the book's publication history - it was issued first by a French ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (2) from $25.43   
  • New (1) from $45.39   
  • Used (1) from $25.43   
Sending request ...

Overview

The crude details of Vladimir Nabokov's story Lolita are well known: The protagonist, Humbert Humbert, marries a widow in order to seduce her provocative teen-aged daughter, Lolita. He succeeds beyond his wildest dreams, becoming in the process not only a child molester (of Lolita) but a murderer (of her lover Quilty). These facts of the story have never been in dispute, but their import has often been the subject of confusion and controversy. Even the book's publication history - it was issued first by a French press known for its pornography in 1955 and finally by the respectable New York firm of Putnam in 1958 - reflects the divided nature of the response to it. Since its publication, critics have categorized Lolita variously as too cerebral or too sensual, too neoclassical or too romantic, too complex or too obvious, too depressing or too witty, too immoral or too didactic. If Lance Olsen would take issue with the "too" in these descriptions, he would also question the "or." In fact, the novel is cerebral and sensual, neoclassical and romantic, complex and obvious, depressing and witty, immoral and didactic. "Like the Roman god Janus," Olsen writes, "Lolita gazes in two directions at once." In this lively and discerning study of Nabokov's complex tale of sexual obsession and immorality, Olsen clarifies for the reader its many seeming contradictions, brings into focus its many points of view. Its method of characterization, narrative form, themes, tone, use of language, and subtle, yet nearly innumerable literary allusions are all taken up with the idea of laying bare the sophisticated underpinnings of the story. Olsen examines Lolita's place in literary history, explaining how here, too, the novel shows its Janus face as Nabokov acknowledges his debt to modernists such as James Joyce while anticipating the deconstructionist bent of such postmodernists as Donald Barthelme. This meeting of modern and postmodern in a single text marks a crucial moment in the e
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805783551
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 4/28/1995
  • Series: Twayne's Masterwork Studies Series , #15
  • Pages: 143
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.83 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)