Lolita And The Dark Tower

1384 Words6 Pages
My first thought was, he lied in every word,
That hoary cripple, with malicious eye
Askance to watch the working of his lie
On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford
Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored
Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby. (lines 1-6)
Nabokov’s character Humbert Humbert from Lolita is perfectly described in this stanza from Robert Browning’s “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.” Nabokov compares Humbert to many poets throughout Lolita. Humbert likens himself to a Romantic poet with the intent of rationalizing his crime of pedophilia as an artistic endeavor. To Humbert, in particular, life really does imitate art. Art also imitates life. Nabokov created the character of Humbert in the image of Edgar Allan Poe. Humbert’s life as a character closely resembles Poe’s literary works of art, and Nabokov’s art, the character of Humbert in Lolita, bears an interesting resemblance to Poe’s true life.
Edgar Allan Poe married his aunt’s daughter Virginia, who at age thirteen was seven years his junior. Poe’s aunt also happened to be his landlady at the time (Lepore). In the same way, Humbert started an explicit relationship with Charlotte’s daughter, Dolores, age thirteen, after Charlotte’s death. Charlotte was Humbert’s landlady. This is an example of art imitating life. Humbert fancies himself a poet with discerning taste in “nymphets,” which excuses his preference for young girls because they are subhuman devils. Humbert

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