Vladimir Nabokov and Lolita

757 WordsFeb 4, 20183 Pages
A man of many talents, Vladimir Nabokov is known not only for his controversial work Lolita, he was also an avid lepidopterist – in particular, butterflies. There is no doubt that when penning Lolita’s character, Nabokov imprinted several butterfly characteristics on her. This essay however does not seek to investigate the parallels between Lolita and the metamorphosis of a butterfly. Rather, it takes the road less travelled and examines the parallels between Nabokov and Humbert Humbert, not as a pervert, but as a scientist. Nabokov’s interest in butterflies stemmed from a childhood obsession as he recalls “chasing butterflies (Time) in Switzerland in 1964. While most people relinquishes their childhood hobbies, Nabokov pursued his interest in lepidopterology throughout his adult life where his passion for butterflies lead him to become a specialist in lepidopterist. As a scientist, Nabokov was acquainted to the clinical ways of science experiments and observations. While this is greatly illustrated in Humbert’s interaction with Lolita – in both cases, the former assumes the role of the scientist and the later the object of investigation – Humbert’s analytical nature is also reflected in relation to other characters and incidents – including himself – as Nabokov draws from his scientific persona in crafting Humbert’s character. In both cases, the former assumes the role of the scientist and the later the object of investigation. Scientists have to approach an
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