Since the current thing I’m working on has a lot to do with obsession, I was recommended to read Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov. I got the audible version and so far am impressed by both the writing and the reading of it (narration by Jeremy Irons).

It’s always been interesting to me how people justify their actions to themselves. Rarely does anyone perceive themselves as a monster or a villain, yet people do monstrous and villainous things every day.

I’m only just at the beginning, and don’t know what terrible acts await, but so far Humbert Humbert comes across as awkwardly pitiable. An ordinary child doing ordinary childish things sends him into an internal frenzy he can barely contain. It’s humorous, in a sinking kind of way, imagining him tensing and sputtering as she sits innocently on his knee. Yet in his own words he paints such a dramatic picture of these events–every turn of her head, every look, every move, is impactful and powerful in his eyes. It’s very similar, actually, to listening to an adult extol the deep and powerful meaning and effect on them, of a child’s cartoon show(you know the one)–in a word: embarrassing.

I’m enjoying it a lot, and just from the start I can already tell why this is near the top of so many ‘best books’ lists. Quite a refreshing breath after my last read.


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