Abstract

Since its initial publication, readers have been troubled by the insidious collusion with monstrosity they experience when reading Lolita. Examination of Vladimir Nabokov's progression as he amplifies themes he begins in "The Potato Elf" and develops in The Enchanter and "Scenes From the Life of a Double Monster" makes clear that the uncomfortable sympathy he achieves for Humbert Humbert in Lolita is not a mere side-effect, but the very essence of the novel. With this grand portrait of monstrosity, Nabokov challenges his readers to pay attention to what is outside of themselves (no matter how alien or horrible it may seem) in order to achieve what he calls "aesthetic bliss."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9965
Print ISSN
1080-1219
Pages
pp. 115-131
Launched on MUSE
2005-10-13
Open Access
No
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