Abstract

Following Roland Barthes’ definition, this paper argues that Lolita is a “text of bliss”, namely a text that discomforts the reader, bringing to a crisis his/her relation with language. At the same time it is based on Wolfgang Iser’s notion of the text as an event, designating the reader’s continual oscillation between involvement and observation. The research objective is to find out how Lolita is supposed to be read by Nabokov’s “good reader”: what the given instructions are and how the reader should interact with them. The development of the Humbert-Lolita relationship in the novel in contrast to its transformation in the screenplay is of particular interest because it seems to figure the interaction between author/text and reader. The findings uncover how aesthetic and sensual come together to entangle the reader in the text, and thus art is demonstrated as a clash and aesthetic bliss at the same time.

Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9965
Print ISSN
1080-1219
Pages
pp. 59-77
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-19
Open Access
No
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