I just finished reading this novel last night.
A few years ago my uncle, who has been a high school English teacher for over 20 years, told me Lolita was the most beautiful book he’s ever read. Always intimidated by its controversial subject matter and distracted by easier, more current works of fiction – I always tabled Lolita.
My uncle was right; it was exquisite and shocking in many different ways. I’ve always been fascinated by the taboo nature of pedophilia, perhaps why I’ve followed the Sandusky case so scrupulously – How could people be so disgusting and deplorable? But what I learned from Lolita is that the main character is more frustrated than malicious. More self-deprecating than evil. How strange that a monster was the protagonist of this beautifully narrated story. As much as the world hates people like him, oftentimes, no one finds them more despicable than they find themselves.
Impressively, Nabokov incited empathy with the reader. Who knew that I could have the capacity to feel sorry for a fictional pedophile and criminal? His lyrical prose was musical, humorous and dare I say, romantic?
For the record, I am not pro-sexual abuse in ANY capacity. I think Jerry Sandusky deserves a life of pain and suffering in prison. I’ve just learned that these psychological crimes are not necessarily fueled by hate, but rather by a disturbing, unbridled sense of love.