Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
…If you don’t know what book to read…
Within the context of the event named “Writers Pick Their Favorite Books” one hundred twenty five writers were proposed to choose their favorite books of all time. They were supposed to make several lists of books: “Top ten works of the 20th century”, “Top ten works of the 19th century”, “Top ten authors by number of books selected” and “Top ten books by points earned”.
The first place in the list “Top ten works of the 20th century” takes Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov – a novel about a man (Humbert) whose greatest weakness was 9 – 14-year-old girls. Lolita, the love of his life, was one of them, she also was a daughter of his dead wife – his stepdaughter.
He believes the reason of his passion is hidden in his past. He was in love with a girl, whose parents was very conservative and didn’t let them be together. Later the girl died. The greatest pleasure for him is watching girls. He is terrified of his urges; he doesn’t want to break the law by seducing minors.
He marries a woman who looks like a child, but divorces her. He comes to America and meats a widowed woman and her 12-yearold daughter, Lolita. A widow forces him to marry her and he does. But he starts falling in love with Lolita. He can’t talk about it so he writes about it in his journal. When his wife finds it, it terrifies her, but she dies before she can do anything about it – car accident.
Humbert realizes that no one can stand in the way of him and Lolita being together. He doesn’t want anyone to find out about them, so he and Lolita go on a road trip together. After a year of traveling Humbert they settle down in a New England town where Lolita enters a girls school. Humbert becomes very jealous of her and doesn’t let her take part in after school activities, but everyone around them takes it as a sign of old-fashioned parental love. Lolita still wants to take part in a school play where he meets Clare Quilty, the person who wrote the play and was pretty impressed with Lolita’s acting. She runs away with him and marries him. Humbert finds her and asks to come back, but she refuses. He gives her a big sum of money anyway. But she realizes that she has to leave her husband when he says he wants to tape orgies.
Humbert finds Clare Quilty, kills him and goes to jail. He dies before the court, the reason of death – coronary thrombosis. Lolitha dies when she gives birth to a Clare Quilty’s baby on Christmas day, in 1852.
The first place in the list “Top ten works of the 19th century” belongs to Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, in the list “Top ten authors by number of books selected” William Shakespeare comes first and the list “Top ten books by points earned” starts with Leo Tolstoy.