Review of a novel written by Vladimir Nabokov
The capacity of a writer to convey an emotion with imagery that transcends mere words is one of the things which sets an author apart from their contemporaries. Vladimir Nabokov is one of the foremost stylists of this genre, aided by his mastery of the English language – a fact made all the more remarkable considering it was not his mother tongue.
The beautifully descriptive narrative of the lead character Humbert Humbert’s obsession for the young Lolita takes the reader on a sensual journey generating paradoxical feelings of delight and repulsion as we are led ever-deeper into Humbert’s depraved mind.
This point is perfectly illustrated in the Foreword by John Ray, Jr., Ph.D. which reads but how magically his singing violin can conjure up a tendresse, a compassion for Lolita that makes us entranced with the book while abhorring its author.
As a work of art, Lolita represents an enchanting exposition of unrequited passion and desire through its rich and poetical wordplay. Nabokov’s ability to capture the intimacy of Humbert’s feelings through his carefully-crafted prose make him one of the most important writers of the past century.