Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

What can I say, when Marilyn Monroe has already said it all.

Marilyn Monroe Let's Make Love
Marilyn with the boys in Let’s Make Love

If you haven’t seen the movie, she slids down a pole into a group of (need I say adoring?) men and announces in her sexy, breathy way – ‘My name is Lolita and uhhhh….I’m not supposed to… with….boys’.

The song’s called ‘My Heart Belongs to Daddy’, and surely it verges on the pornographic whilst all the time she is wearing a jumper up to her neck.

It’s a fantastic statement about the book, much as the song was first written long before it first came out. You just HAVE to watch it here. Right now!!!! [Update some years later: the link has been removed and I can’t find another online. Oh, buy the movie. It’s so worth it!]

Back again? Good. What a brilliant reworking and I do not use that word lightly. Compare Mary Martin’s version …which is insipid even though it includes a striptease. It begs the question, is it just the presence of Marilyn that makes this sexy or is it sexy because it is about a subject that is still a weird juxtaposition of taboo – old men having sex with children, and accepted – the sexualisation of children, a happy marriage, as far as I can see, between capitalism, liberal views on what is acceptable practice for children, and the internet. One way or another these conflicting attitudes and behaviours have been around for a very long time – the Victorian period in English is an obvious example. But somehow it seems worse now.

Well, I have yet to read this book, but it’s in the ethos, one of those books you know about without having read a word and I’ve seen the Lolita the movie. I hope that gives me licence to have said these few words.

6 thoughts on “Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

  1. Hey, why are you blaming the internet for men having sex with little girls? Please recall that one of the first things the Ayatollah Khomeini did after taking power in 1979 was to reduce the age of consent for women to 9, in accordance with principles of Sharia law. That was well before the internet..

    • I merely mentioned the internet as one of the factors involved in the sexualisation of young children, ie, in a sentence that is maybe too complicated I was comparing the taboo with the accepted….

  2. This is from that weird movie where she has sex in a lift with fugly Yves Montand. I’ve always found it somewhat disturbing…

  3. Yes, but isn’t that supposed to be the point, sort of the apex of the whole Hollywood creepy sexualising children that took place over the previous decades (eg Shirley T), making it doubly creepy by a grown woman doing the role of the young child being sexy.

  4. Which filmed version of Lolita? The Kubrick? The Lyne? The Russian? The German? The sci-fi version? They may all have something to offer, but really, you should read the book. Then watch whichever film again, and see what you think. Course, this was several years ago, and the situation may have changed. Nice review, though!

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