„ I was a pedophile who was seduced by a 12-year –old nymphete” , – confesses the narrator of the novel and the paradox implicit in this statement is one of a long list the story is full of. The erudite and witty writer gets sexually attracted to very young girls ( 12 – 14 years old ), some of whom he calls nymphets, half human half demon creatures.
His love life is secretive and gloomy – he is forced to hide his true passion, yet his sinful desires are rooted in the first enchantments he experienced falling in love and being loved in return by a beautiful girl of his own age who died of typhus soon after the holidays were over. He never fully recovered from the blow and the passionate love he feels for Lolita is initially the replica of the feeling he had experienced in the past - nevertheless his new fascination becomes much more powerful and overwhelming and soon fades his memories away to finally abandon them. Thus the idea he may have fallen for Lolita at first sight just because she reminded him the love he had lost is nothing more than a vague possibility.
He uses unscrupulous deceits to be with Lolita and when he manages to arrange things his way, he abuses her sexually, but she cynically copes with the situation as long as it suits her and walks out on him exactly in the time and place she had planned to. He loves her more than anybody else in the world and suffers because he is aware she will never be truly his as she symbolizes man’s everlasting but never fulfilled dreams. She is his “La belle Dame sans merci” and Edgar Allan Poe’s “ Annabel Lee”.
The novel is multifaceted and ambiguous. Having, to his great relief, got rid of his wife who accidentally finds out the truth ( Lolita’s mother he had married to live close to the girl ) ,the writer who calls himself Humbert Humbert takes the girl on a journey across the States, which really is just escape from reality. He never wishes to settle down anywhere for fear Lolita could make her own friends and sooner or later leave him, which she actually does precisely the moments she had scheduled it He guards and watches her all the time, never trusting anything she says. He occasionally beats her, begs for forgiveness to make up, tries to save every precious moment they are together even if he has to buy it. However , he is sentenced to failure and to living a hollow, lonely existence with his lips dry of handovers and the thirst of her salty taste.
The novel challenges ambitious readers who can read it several times and still find new ideas to inspire them intellectually