Via MaudNewton, I learned of a brief and entertaining article examining Lolita at 50. The article explains the genesis of Nabokov’s idea, how his wife just managed to convince the author from burning the manuscript, and how many readers have mistaken certain elements over the years. Particularly interesting is the treatment of Lolita‘s foreward. In the foreward a “person” identified as John Ray Jr., PhD, explains how he obtained Humber Humbert’s manuscript and why he agreed to see the book into print. Dr. Ray warns that readers will be entraced by the book but will abhor the author. The article points out that “the forward was written by none other than Nabokov himself (over the course of the novel this becomes clear–but not so clear that an English press as late as 1979 was fooled and published an edition with the foreword replaced by one commissioned from Nabokov enthusiast Martin Amis).” How would you like to be that editor?
Read the entire article here.