The Wrong Side of the Tracks - Books 1 & 2: A Coming-of-Age Story of First Love & True Friendship
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After moving into a friend's ranch for a period, Quilty tried to make her star in one of his pornographic films. She refused, and so he expelled her from the ranch. Afterward, she supported herself by working as a waitress. Humbert leaves in tears, resolving to track down and kill Quilty. Returning to Ramsdale, Humbert visits Quilty's uncle, who is a local dentist, and learns the location of Quilty's mansion. Humbert arrives at the mansion to find a hedonistic lair with the front door unlocked, and Quilty under the influence of drugs. Quilty at first thinks Humbert is a man from the phone company, then just another actor or socialite taking advantage of his generosity.
Even after Humbert reveals himself and his purpose, Quilty still barely takes him seriously and only after a few tussles does he attempt to talk down Humbert from killing him. Eventually Humbert shoots Quilty in a chase around the mansion; he leaves as a large number of Quilty's guests arrive, who also do not take the idea of Quilty's murder seriously. Later, Humbert allows himself to be captured by police while driving recklessly in a daze.
In his closing thoughts, Humbert expresses his belief that he is guilty of statutory rape, but all other charges against himself should be dismissed. He reaffirms his love for Lolita, and asks for his Confession to be withheld from public release until after her death. Lolita is frequently described as an "erotic novel", both by some critics but also in a standard reference work on literature Facts on File: Companion to the American Short Story.
More cautious classifications have included a "novel with erotic motifs"  or one of "a number of works of classical erotic literature and art, and to novels that contain elements of eroticism, like Ulysses and Lady Chatterley's Lover ". This classification has been disputed. Malcolm Bradbury writes "at first famous as an erotic novel, Lolita soon won its way as a literary one—a late modernist distillation of the whole crucial mythology. Lolita is characterized by irony and sarcasm; it is not an erotic novel. Lance Olsen writes: "The first 13 chapters of the text, culminating with the oft-cited scene of Lo unwittingly stretching her legs across Humbert's excited lap The novel is narrated by Humbert, who riddles the narrative with word play and his wry observations of American culture.
The novel's flamboyant style is characterized by double entendres , multilingual puns , anagrams , and coinages such as nymphet , a word that has since had a life of its own and can be found in most dictionaries, and the lesser-used "faunlet". Most writers see Humbert as an unreliable narrator and credit Nabokov's powers as an ironist.
Critics have further noted that, since the novel is a first person narrative by Humbert, the novel gives very little information about what Lolita is like as a person, that in effect she has been silenced by not being the book's narrator. Nomi Tamir-Ghez writes "Not only is Lolita's voice silenced, her point of view, the way she sees the situation and feels about it, is rarely mentioned and can be only surmised by the reader It's Lolita as a memory".
He concluded that a stage monologue would be truer to the book than any film could possibly be. Clegg sees the novel's non-disclosure of Lolita's feelings as directly linked to the fact that her "real" name is Dolores and only Humbert refers to her as Lolita. The human child, the one noticed by non- nymphomaniacs , answers to other names, "Lo", "Lola", "Dolly", and, least alluring of all, "Dolores".
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The Siren-like Humbert sings a song of himself, to himself, and titles that self and that song "Lolita". To transform Dolores into Lolita, to seal this sad adolescent within his musky self, Humbert must deny her her humanity. In , Iranian expatriate Azar Nafisi published the memoir Reading Lolita in Tehran about a covert women's reading group.
She notes "Because her name is not Lolita, her real name is Dolores which as you know in Latin means dolour, so her real name is associated with sorrow and with anguish and with innocence, while Lolita becomes a sort of light-headed, seductive, and airy name. The Lolita of our novel is both of these at the same time and in our culture here today we only associate it with one aspect of that little girl and the crassest interpretation of her.
For Nafisi, the essence of the novel is Humbert's solipsism and his erasure of Lolita's independent identity. She writes: "Lolita was given to us as Humbert's creature […] To reinvent her, Humbert must take from Lolita her own real history and replace it with his own Yet she does have a past. Despite Humbert's attempts to orphan Lolita by robbing her of her history, that past is still given to us in glimpses. One of the novel's early champions, Lionel Trilling , warned in of the moral difficulty in interpreting a book with so eloquent and so self-deceived a narrator: "we find ourselves the more shocked when we realize that, in the course of reading the novel, we have come virtually to condone the violation it presents A minority of critics have accepted Humbert's version of events at face value.
In , Dorothy Parker described the novel as "the engrossing, anguished story of a man, a man of taste and culture, who can love only little girls" and Lolita as "a dreadful little creature, selfish, hard, vulgar, and foul-tempered". This is no pretty theme, but it is one with which social workers, magistrates and psychiatrists are familiar. In his essay on Stalinism Koba the Dread , Martin Amis proposes that Lolita is an elaborate metaphor for the totalitarianism that destroyed the Russia of Nabokov's childhood though Nabokov states in his afterword that he "[detests] symbols and allegories ".
Amis interprets it as a story of tyranny told from the point of view of the tyrant. Nabokov finished Lolita on 6 December , five years after starting it. Via his translator Doussia Ergaz, it reached Maurice Girodias of Olympia Press , "three-quarters of [whose] list was pornographic trash". Lolita was published in September , as a pair of green paperbacks "swarming with typographical errors".
Eventually, at the very end of , Graham Greene , in the London Sunday Times , called it one of the three best books of The novel then appeared in Danish and Dutch translations. Two editions of a Swedish translation were withdrawn at the author's request. Despite initial trepidation, there was no official response in the U.
Putnam's Sons in August The book was into a third printing within days and became the first since Gone with the Wind to sell , copies in its first three weeks. The novel continues to generate controversy today as modern society has become increasingly aware of the lasting damage created by child sexual abuse. In , an entire book was published on the best ways to teach the novel in a college classroom given that "its particular mix of narrative strategies, ornate allusive prose, and troublesome subject matter complicates its presentation to students".
Many critics describe Humbert as a rapist , notably Azar Nafisi in her best-selling Reading Lolita in Tehran ,  though in a survey of critics David Larmour notes that other interpreters of the novel have been reluctant to use that term. Nabokov biographer Brian Boyd denies that it was rape on the grounds that Dolores was not a virgin and seduced Humbert in the morning of their hotel stay. It bears many similarities to Lolita , but also has significant differences: it takes place in Central Europe, and the protagonist is unable to consummate his passion with his stepdaughter, leading to his suicide.
The theme of hebephilia was already touched on by Nabokov in his short story " A Nursery Tale ", written in Also, in the Laughter in the Dark , Margot Peters is 16 and had already had an affair when middle-aged Albinus becomes attracted to her. In chapter three of the novel The Gift written in Russian in —37 the similar gist of Lolita ' s first chapter is outlined to the protagonist, Fyodor Cherdyntsev, by his landlord Shchyogolev as an idea of a novel he would write "if I only had the time": a man marries a widow only to gain access to her young daughter, who resists all his passes.
Shchyogolev says it happened "in reality" to a friend of his; it is made clear to the reader that it concerns himself and his stepdaughter Zina 15 at the time of Shchyogolev's marriage to her mother who becomes the love of Fyodor's life. Nabokov used the title A Kingdom by the Sea in his pseudo-autobiographical novel Look at the Harlequins! In Nabokov's novel Pale Fire , the titular poem by fictional John Shade mentions Hurricane Lolita coming up the American east coast in , and narrator Charles Kinbote in the commentary later in the book notes it, questioning why anyone would have chosen an obscure Spanish nickname for a hurricane.
There were no hurricanes named Lolita that year , but that is the year that Lolita the novel was published in North America. The unfinished novel The Original of Laura , published posthumously, features the character Hubert H.
Hubert, an older man preying upon then-child protagonist, Flora. Unlike those of Humbert Humbert in Lolita , Hubert's advances are unsuccessful. The novel abounds in allusions to classical and modern literature. Many are references to Humbert's own favorite poet, Edgar Allan Poe.
Humbert Humbert's first love, Annabel Leigh, is named after the "maiden" in the poem " Annabel Lee " by Poe; this poem is alluded to many times in the novel, and its lines are borrowed to describe Humbert's love. A passage in chapter 11 reuses verbatim Poe's phrase A variant of this line is reprised in the opening of chapter one, which reads In a princedom by the sea. Humbert is not, however, his real name, but a chosen pseudonym. Chapter 26 of Part One contains a parody of Joyce 's stream of consciousness.
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He even called Carroll the "first Humbert Humbert". In her book, Tramp: The Life of Charlie Chaplin , Joyce Milton claims that a major inspiration for the novel was Charlie Chaplin 's relationship with his second wife, Lita Grey , whose real name was Lillita and is often misstated as Lolita. Although Appel's comprehensive Annotated Lolita contains no references to Charlie Chaplin, others have picked up several oblique references to Chaplin's life in Nabokov's book. Lolita's first sexual encounter was with a boy named Charlie Holmes, whom Humbert describes as "the silent When Humbert visits Lolita in a class at her school, he notes a print of the same painting in the classroom.
Delaney's article notes many other parallels as well. The foreword refers to "the monumental decision rendered December 6, by Hon. John M. Woolsey in regard to another, considerably more outspoken book"—that is, the decision in the case United States v. In chapter 35 of Part Two, Humbert's " death sentence " on Quilty parodies the rhythm and use of anaphora in T. Eliot 's poem Ash Wednesday.
Many other references to classical and Romantic literature abound, including references to Lord Byron 's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and to the poetry of Laurence Sterne. In addition to the possible prototypes of Lewis Carroll and Charlie Chaplin mentioned above in Allusions , Alexander Dolinin suggests  that the prototype of Lolita was year-old Florence Horner , kidnapped in by year-old mechanic Frank La Salle, who had caught her stealing a five-cent notebook. La Salle traveled with her over various states for 21 months and is believed to have raped her.
He claimed that he was an FBI agent and threatened to "turn her in" for the theft and to send her to "a place for girls like you. Had I done to Dolly, perhaps, what Frank Lasalle, a fifty-year-old mechanic, had done to eleven-year-old Sally Horner in ? German academic Michael Maar 's book The Two Lolitas  describes his recent discovery of a German short story titled "Lolita" whose middle-aged narrator describes travelling abroad as a student.
He takes a room as a lodger and instantly becomes obsessed with the preteen girl also named Lolita who lives in the same house. Maar has speculated that Nabokov may have had cryptomnesia "hidden memory" while he was composing Lolita during the s. Maar says that until Nabokov lived in the same section of Berlin as the author, Heinz von Eschwege pen name: Heinz von Lichberg , and was most likely familiar with his work, which was widely available in Germany during Nabokov's time there.
Nothing of what we admire in Lolita is already to be found in the tale; the former is in no way deducible from the latter. One of the first things Nabokov makes a point of saying is that, despite John Ray Jr. Nabokov adds that "the initial shiver of inspiration" for Lolita "was somehow prompted by a newspaper story about an ape in the Jardin des Plantes who, after months of coaxing by a scientist, produced the first drawing ever charcoaled by an animal: this sketch showed the bars of the poor creature's cage".
In response to an American critic who characterized Lolita as the record of Nabokov's "love affair with the romantic novel", Nabokov writes that "the substitution of 'English language' for 'romantic novel' would make this elegant formula more correct". Nabokov concludes the afterword with a reference to his beloved first language, which he abandoned as a writer once he moved to the United States in "My private tragedy, which cannot, and indeed should not, be anybody's concern, is that I had to abandon my natural idiom, my untrammeled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian language for a second-rate brand of English".
Nabokov rated the book highly. In an interview for BBC Television in , he said:. Lolita is a special favorite of mine. It was my most difficult book—the book that treated of a theme which was so distant, so remote, from my own emotional life that it gave me a special pleasure to use my combinational talent to make it real. Over a year later, in an interview for Playboy , he said:. No, I shall never regret Lolita. She was like the composition of a beautiful puzzle—its composition and its solution at the same time, since one is a mirror view of the other, depending on the way you look.
Of course she completely eclipsed my other works—at least those I wrote in English: The Real Life of Sebastian Knight , Bend Sinister , my short stories, my book of recollections; but I cannot grudge her this. There is a queer, tender charm about that mythical nymphet. In the same year, in an interview with Life , Nabokov was asked which of his writings had most pleased him.
He answered:. I would say that of all my books Lolita has left me with the most pleasurable afterglow—perhaps because it is the purest of all, the most abstract and carefully contrived. I am probably responsible for the odd fact that people don't seem to name their daughters Lolita any more. I have heard of young female poodles being given that name since , but of no human beings. The Russian translation includes a "Postscriptum"  in which Nabokov reconsiders his relationship with his native language.
Referring to the afterword to the English edition, Nabokov states that only "the scientific scrupulousness led me to preserve the last paragraph of the American afterword in the Russian text Alas, that 'wonderful Russian language' which, I imagined, still awaits me somewhere, which blooms like a faithful spring behind the locked gate to which I, after so many years, still possess the key, turned out to be non-existent, and there is nothing beyond that gate, except for some burned out stumps and hopeless autumnal emptiness, and the key in my hand looks rather like a lock pick.
Lolita has been adapted as two films, a musical, four stage-plays, one completed opera, and two ballets. There is also Nabokov's unfilmed and re-edited screenplay, an uncompleted opera based on the work, and an "imagined opera" which combines elements of opera and dance. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article is about the novel by Vladimir Nabokov. For other uses, see Lolita disambiguation. For the band, see Clare Quilty group. This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations.
Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. November Learn how and when to remove this template message. United States portal s portal Novels portal. Retrieved 3 January The Atlantic. Retrieved 8 October Great Soviet encyclopedia. The book of ages.
Women's studies: a recommended core bibliography. Loeb Libraries. Russia: a country study. Sex and Russian society. Indiana University Press. Dangerous pilgrimages: transatlantic mythologies and the novel. Vladimir Nabokov, a reference guide. Lolita: a Janus text. Twayne Publishers. Philosophy and Literature. The Paris Review. Archived from the original on 19 January Retrieved 31 January Longform Media.
Archived from the original on 21 January Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita: A casebook. Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita: A reader's guide to essential criticism. Cambridge: Icon Books. The Times. The New York Times. Over her dead body: death, femininity and the aesthetic. Manchester University Press. Retrieved 2 October Retrieved 30 January Boston Globe. Retrieved 5 February Lolita's Crime: Sex Made Funny. Retrieved 11 October The Telegraph.
Retrieved 21 December Math enthusiasts, from high school students to professionals, will delight in the offbeat problems and lucid explanations in the letters. For anyone whose life has been changed by a mentor, The Calculus of Friendship will be an unforgettable journey. He has written for the New York Times 's Opinionator blog. Play lecture. Many of our ebooks are available through library electronic resources including these platforms:. Home The Calculus of Friendship. Add to Cart. More about this book. Play video. Alan Alda interviews author Read.
Prologue [PDF]. Chapter 1 [PDF]. Through their correspondence they share problems in calculus, chaos theory and major life events, from professional and sporting successes to family bereavements and divorce. The book touchingly charts their changing roles and relationship, from student to professor, teacher to retirement.
At some point, their amiable correspondence about math problems led to a true friendship.
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In The Calculus of Friendship , Strogatz weaves their letters into reflections on the philosophical similarities between calculus and human relationships and portrays a friendship firmly founded on a love of dreaming up and solving calculus problems. One can also feel the personality and humor of these pen pals emerging through their symbol-sprinkled sentences. Calculus, Isaac Newton's ingenious invention for modeling change mathematically, serves as both text and subtext for the letters that pass between Strogatz and Joff. Focusing almost exclusively on questions of mathematics, these brief notes frame the unlikely friendship of a teacher and his star student.
With the precision of an award-winning mathematician and the clarity of a best-selling science author, Strogatz leads us on an excursion through some of the lesser-known mathematical sights--the ones usually reserved for the 'members only' tour. The mathematics covered in these letters is impressive for such a short volume. His work is a model for how mathematics needs to be popularized.
Teachers of mathematics will appreciate the long-term effect their teaching can have on students. The included mathematics can be related to both high school and undergraduate calculus sequences to demonstrate some interesting, thought-provoking, and 'big picture' connections to these courses.
Like Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology , you don not have to know any mathematics whatsoever to read this book. It is a candid and all-too-human story told with brutal honesty, warts and all, sharing with the reader the elation and sincere regrets bound up in the relationship--but in the end, the victories, too. With some beautiful mathematics throughout! Braden, Notices of the American Mathematical Society.