Synopses & Reviews
In this Readers' Guide, Christine Clegg examines the critical history of Lolita
through a broad range of interpretations. Although early criticism of the text polarized around 'that' question - is it literature or pornography? - the influence of American critics such as Lionel Trilling quickly secured canonical status for the novel. A compelling aspect of Lolita
criticism is the way in which that question continues to return in different forms. In the 1980s and 1990s, Lolita
has been the subject of diverse critical attention, beyond 'Nabokov Studies': from Richard Rorty's philosophical inquiry into the ethics of cruelty, to Rachel Bowlby's feminist analysis of the rhetoric of consumer culture in the novel. All of the main critical approaches to the novel are covered by this indispensable sourcebook.
This guide to Nabokov's tale of a older man's infatuation with a schoolgirl, aims to meet the needs of students on both interdisciplinary and single-honours courses.
About the Author
is Lecturer, University of East London.
Table of Contents
'The Weird Shapes of Sexuality that Lolita
Assumes': Art and Morality, Literature and Life; The Making of Lolita
in the 1950s * 'An Idealistic Obsession with the Never-to-be-had': Parody, Perversion and the Meaning of Style; Interpretations of Lolita
in the 1960s * 'The Manifold Recesses of Literary Possibility': Comparative Criticism of America's Lolita
in the 1970s * Nabokov's 'Monster of Incuriosity': Kindness, Cruelty, and the Ethics of Reading Lolita
in the 1980s * 'The Rediscovered Girl': Rereading Lolita
in the 1990s