Abstract

No detail of Nabokov's art must be considered insignificant, including his punctuation; Nabokov not only cared about how his prose was punctuated but also integrated it into the artistic meaning of his novels. In Lolita, Nabokov's use of the bracketed parenthesis plays a crucial role in answering many of the novel's most pertinent questions. There are a plethora of parentheses throughout, and while on first reading they may seem a mere byproduct of Humbert's vicious style, many of them are in fact pregnant with meaning. Parentheses elucidate the theme of imprisonment, reminding the reader of Humbert's incarcerated state. Reading between the brackets can also help the reader perceive Humbert's deceptions, especially regarding the account of his seduction of Lolita. Finally, and crucially, Humbert's parenthetical slippages expose him as an insincere penitent.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9965
Print ISSN
1080-1219
Pages
pp. 47-64
Launched on MUSE
2005-10-13
Open Access
No
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