In her preface to LOLITA, Mary Gaitskill reflects on a review by Vanity Fair’s Gregor von Rezzori in which he calls the novel: “The only convincing love story of the century” (via funeral)
People make a lot of jokes about “lol dumb teenage girls romanticizing Lolita”, but doesn’t that speak volumes about the way young women are taught to view themselves? We’re taught to see ourselves as objects, as the focal point of desire for a man. If a man obsesses over us and dehumanizes us we’re supposed to see that as a good thing because it means we’re serving our purpose as decorative objects to be lusted after and owned. When Nabokov takes that narrative to its logical extreme, it seems natural that women, so often the victims of childhood sexual abuse and assault, don’t view the story as “abhorrent” but as the very story they grew up in, the model of sexuality that was forced on them by adult men.