Lolita: What We Know and What We Don’t
Nabokov plays games with our knowledge and ignorance, as Humbert does with Lolita, and with Charlotte, and with us as readers, and as Valeria, Charlotte, Lolita and Clare Quilty do in their turn with Humbert. On a first reading Nabokov places us in a position of knowing some crucial information denied to other characters, but then of not knowing other crucial information until even after the characters concerned all know. On a rereading he then allows us to discover much more, so that for instance the obscure rival becomes Clare from the first. But I suspect Nabokov has hidden still more under our noses, if we keep re-rereading. Where has he planted his clues, and where might they lead?
Published : 2008-03-20
Brian Boyd, « Lolita: What We Know and What We Don’t », Cycnos, 2008-03-20. URL : http://epi-revel.univ-cotedazur.fr/publication/item/596