Lolita has been on my 'To Read' list for an absurdly long time. Perhaps the joy of reading it was partly personal triumph and the joy of ticking an item off a list - perhaps it's just that it's AMAZING. I wish I could more eloquently express what a stunning piece of work it is. As a child I wore glasses. I have a vague and possibly false memory of the time I first saw the world clearly; the clarity, the sharpness, the colour - this is how I felt reading Lolita. My literary glasses are on and the world is clear again. Hurrah for Nabokov. And paedophilia.
I wish I were joking - it seems I'm drawn to it these days; I'm fairly disturbed by the fact that the next book I read also centred around inappropriate adult/child relationships: The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton. I feel it would be pretentious to suggest that writing about other people's writing is a false echo of the real thing and has something to do with Plato's shadows on the cave - in other words it's totally douchey. That being said, this book is really, really good. The writing is like nothing I've ever read and I wish I'd written more of it down so I could impress people at parties by pretending the words were my own. I go to some wild parties. My only worry it it seems more like a long short story than a novel; what is it about writers that they think if they write stunningly we'll ignore the fact that the plot doesn't really resolve? My other Only Worry is that Eleanor Catton was born in 1985. This isn't a problem in itself, but hark, what's that? She published the book in 2007? This girl wrote this incredible book at 20. I'm trying to teach myself to change my perspective on this; rather than be intimidated by this and feel like I haven't acheived enough and it's shameful I haven't written a novel yet, I have a different perspective. I am motivated and inspired to acheive more and do more and be more. If I say that enough it will become true.
2 weeks ago