Friday, May 21, 2010

Vladimir Nabokov | Lolita | 1955

Hey Humbert,

How’s jail? I hope it's as bad as they make it out to be in those undercover exposes. I mean, I really hope you're suffering, I want to be clear on that from the outset.

You've managed to trick a lot of people into believing your only crime was being in love but you didn't fool me. I know you're not fooling yourself, either.

You deprived Dolores (I will not call her Lolita--that nickname represents yet another way in which you were forcing yourself on her, possessing her) of her childhood. You know you did. Remember that in the end, what broke your heart was not that she wasn't with you but that her voice was absent from the voices of the children you heard at play.

You might be asking yourself why I've taken the time to write a letter to someone I really hate. I'm not sure. I guess in part it's because I'm fascinated by you--a misogynist, rapist & murderer, a real dyed-in-the-wool lunatic, who people seem to find so goddamn charming. With that in mind, maybe I'm grateful to you for teaching me something really important about society, which is to say that it is screwed up.

With much hostility,
Lauren Wilkinson