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Law & Order: SVU[edit]

"an acclaimed but failed Broadway musical." can someone fix this line? it is a Grammar felony.

Umm, sure, but what is the problem?--WickerGuy (talk) 23:38, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Law & Order: SVU[edit]

I saw an episode of SVU tonight that was clearly an adaptation of Lolita...the mother's name was Annabel Hayes, the victim's name was Robert Schiller...the mother rented out a room in her house to a travel writer whom the daughter seduced despite the fact that her mother was interested in him... (talk) 02:57, 2 July 2008 (UTC)rubinia

The episode in question deals with pedophilia and two characters have partial names in common with characters in Lolita, but there the similarity ends. The episode is entitled Wanderlust.--WickerGuy (talk) 23:43, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Harry Bosch[edit]

In the Michael connoly detective books detective bosch finds a clue saying "dot the i humbert humbert" which is a clue about bringing down a peadophile ring using thier website

add as a reference? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:49, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

No (my opinion). People interested in the detective book should be directed here to understand who Humbert is, but there would be less interest going the other way around. (John User:Jwy talk) 03:33, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
No for the same reasons stated by Jwy. The detective book only has an extremely remote relationship to Lolita. Ward3001 (talk) 03:37, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

"Hunted Enchanters"?[edit]

What is up with the title of Quilty's play and the name of the motel. Recently, this article said that they were both called "The Enchanted Hunters." I thought I remembered that the play was called "The Hunted Enchanters" -- and I went to check in the book.

But to my surprise I found (or thought I found) that that version of the article was right -- the names were the identical, not mirror-echoes of each other -- it was "Enchanted Hunters" in both places (see section 13 of Part Two):

"I did not bother to read the complete text of The Enchanted Hunters, the playlet in which Dolores Haze was assigned the part of a farmer's daughter"

And section 27 of Part One:

"There it was, marvelously and inexorably, under spectral trees, at the top of a graveled drive--the pale palace of The Enchanted Hunters."

But now the article has been changed to match what I had found to be a false memory. Is "Hunted Enchanters" perhaps used by Humbert elsewhere in the book, or is my memory of the phrase simply taken from a recurring, incorrect version of this article?

Dybryd (talk) 19:47, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

This was the first time I read this page so my memory isn't tainted by previous versions, but I thought the same thing-- that the hotel was the Enchanted Hunters and the play was the Hunted Enchanters. I did a little research and found that Pratt (the school mistress if memory serves) mistakenly stated the title to be the Hunted Enchanters but it was in fact Enchanted Hunters. This was a little joke by Nabokov, since Pratt's miscue serves to aptly describe Lolita (her being the enchanter being hunted). This is according to Alfred Appel Jr's "The Annotated Lolita."—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:00, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
The Kubrick film has the play as "The Hunted Enchanters" on the billboard outside the school. -- (talk) 07:55, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, in the novel, Pratt misremembers the title as "Hunted Enchanters" when it is, in fact, "The Enchanted Hunter" a name identical to the hotel. Kubrick's screenplay never mentions the name of the hotel, but has appropriated Pratt's false memory as the name of the play.--WickerGuy (talk) 19:25, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

What I Don't Personally Find Intelligible[edit]

At the risk of sounding "Xenophobic", which I hope I do not (as I consider myself only as intelligent as anyone else, anywhere), the last paragraph in the "Plot Summary" section needs "De-Britification". I understand the over all point of it, but at some points it is not clear what meaning the author intended to convey.

"After a mutually exhausting struggle for it, Quilty, now insane with fear, merely responds politely as Humbert repeatedly shoots him."

Responds politely to what? If the author meant that Quilty attempted to negotiate or rationalize with Humbert in a non-threatening manner, I think it needs to be re-written that way. I don't think most people would politely show their appreciation for being shot....

"He finally dies with a comical lack of interest, expressing his slight concern in an affected English accent."

That sentence made no sense either. How can someone be apathetic and concerned all at the same time? And it is not explained what the accent has to do with it.

That paragraph needs re-writing. It is a bit hard to comprehend.Oi2Life (talk) 15:57, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

I mean no offense, but some of what you write is equally unclear or problematic. First, I am unsure what you mean by "De-Britification". Neither the novel nor the article was written for an exclusively American audience. The English Wikipedia has readers and editors throughout the world. So if you mean the article needs to be "Americanized", I'm sorry but that is contrary to Wikipedia guidelines. Now, perhaps you mean something different, but that is my point about the ambiguity of your edit.
Secondly (and this is only my opinion), I see no lack of clarity in the sentences you cite. What Quilty is responding politely to is Humbert's shooting him. If one has read the novel that is clear, but I believe it also is clear to someone who has not read the novel. As for "apathetic and concerned", that also is clear to me because word meanings are not "black and white"; they have "gray" meanings. The sentence reads "slight concern". I see no lack of clarity within the context of the sentence. It doesn't mean he is completely apathetic and completely concerned. He is largely apathetic and slightly concerned. Ward3001 (talk) 16:59, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

As I've said before, the plot summary in general is far too ornate and long -- and some of it is original interpretation. It should be radically shortened. However, as usual this is a problem that I point out without have the energy to attempt a fix myself. I would be delighted if someone undertook to slash the section down to two or three tight, factual paragraphs.

Dybryd (talk) 22:00, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm going for the slash and burn of the plot summary here, which is going to be hard as so many loving fans of the work added so much detail!! I'm planning to leave the first para intact, the second para as the story up until HH tells Lo her mother is dead (currently paras 2-4), third para on their travels and Quilty (currently 5 & 6), and then a short paragraph on HH's visit to Lo and the killing of Quilty (7 & 8) considerable~powers (talk) 16:24, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

@ ward3001- I didn't mean to get in an edit war with you there- my internet connection is ridiculously slow so I assumed it hadn't saved the edits when they changed back so quickly!! Does anyone else have an opinion on how to shorten this beast down? considerable~powers (talk) 16:45, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I have written very little on this article, so I have nothing personally invested in it. But I don't think the plot summary has too much detail. It's fairly typical for a plot summary of a major novel. By the way, if you were not signed in and made this edit, no offense but the previous version was much better written. Perhaps this was not an adequate sample of your work. Anyone can edit, so feel free to give it a try. But also remember, "any writing you contribute can be mercilessly edited". If I disagree, I may revert. But I will not edit war. If you and I disagree too much, we'll see what others think on the talk page. Thank you. Ward3001 (talk) 17:00, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
By the way Considerable powers, please use the preview button to proofread before saving the page. I can already see some grammatical and structural errors in your edits. And that's fine; no one writes perfectly, especially on the first draft. But if you use the preview button, you'll avoid clogging up the page history with just a few edits, and you'll save the rest of us the trouble of having to fix your errors. Thanks. Ward3001 (talk) 17:03, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

First paragraph: sexually obsessed[edit]

He's not only sexually "obsessed" with lolita, also emotionally -as proves the book's end- in which he says that he loved her. I changed the sentence. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:51, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't think that his emotional attachment is "proven" by the novel's conclusion. It's meant to be ambiguous, and it doesn't develop until the end of the novel. Moreover, your edit obscures the source of controversy--mere "obsession" with a young woman may be strange or unconventional, but the element of the novel that garners the most discussion and controversy is that Humbert is sexually obsessed with Lolita, and that their relationship is consummated. For the lead, it isn't appropriate to deal in nuances--we're attempting to summarize the notability of the novel and its subject matter. Thus, I am changing the phrase back to "sexually obsessed." SS451 (talk) 15:47, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree the lead doesn't need to deal with nuances, including whether the obsession is only sexual or otherwise. Thus, I have reverted your edit. If more detail about this is needed, it should go later in the article. Ward3001 (talk) 17:03, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
The original change from "sexually obsessed" to "obsessed" added nuance where none was needed. Your edit has obscured the source of the controversy surrounding this novel. If it were a mere "obsession," with no sex involved, the novel would not have been as shocking, and it would likely never have been censored or banned in some countries. What you're doing here is burying the lede for no apparent reason. The only reason Lolita is ever considered "infamous" is because of its depiction of sex between a mature man and a pre-pubescent girl.
I do not want to get into an edit war about this, but I think the current intro fails to adequately identify the most notable plot feature of the novel. I am willing to wait for other editors' perspectives before changing it back, but I think the current introduction is inadequate. SS451 (talk) 19:31, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
I disagree that changing "sexually obsessed" to "obsessed" adds nuance. Rather, it's the other way around. He was sexually obsessed, but the obsession was not limited to sexuality. But more importantly, the nuance of "sexually" obsessed (as opposed to the entirety of his obsession) is more properly discussed later in the article rather than the lead. The lead does not need to include the specific nuances of his obsession, nor the specific reasons the novel was shocking or censored. Note that I did not say that any of these details (nuances, shocking, censored) are not to be discussed at all, just that the particulars are not needed in the lead. And the lead certainly points out that the novel was controversial. If we restrict the lead to "sexual" obsession, we do not allow the possibility that his obsession is more than sexual, or for that matter the distinction between Humbert and Quilty (the latter having only a sexual interest in Lolita). But let's see if other opinions emerge here. Ward3001 (talk) 19:46, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Looks like this page is fairly low-traffic. In the absence of other editors to add their views, I would propose compromise language. I maintain that Humbert's sexual relationship with Lolita is the main reason for the controversial character of the novel's subject matter which is (in my view) properly referred to in the introduction. The focus on "obsession" is a red herring--I think anyone who has read the novel can agree that "sexual obsession" is inadequate to describe Humbert's fascination with Lolita, and that can be dealt with elsewhere in the article. Still, the issue remains of how to adequately convey the reason that the novel has been considered controversial, which I think is an important subject to at least briefly mention in the lead. One of the main reasons for the novel's fame is that it has been frequently censored or banned, and condemned by moralists of various stripes. To mention the fact of the controversy in the lead and then provide no details whatsoever (not even to the extent of a 4-6 word summary clause) is to exclude valuable, interesting, and highly general information about the article's subject from its introduction to no apparent purpose.
Accordingly, I would suggest that one of the following phrases be substituted for "becomes obsessed with" in the last sentence of the article's first paragraph: "initiates a sexual relationship with"; "becomes sexually involved with"; or "has sex with." I would assume that there is no dispute that any of these formulations is correct and unnuanced, except for perhaps the first formulation, which may be taking a position on which character is more responsible for the relationship. My preference would be for the second of these proposed substitutions, although I would also be open to alternatives which effectively convey why the novel is controversial without getting into matters of nuance or interpretation. SS451 (talk) 20:06, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
This is not really a compromise. It's just a slight rewording of your initial proposal. It continues to remove the general nature of his obsession and instead focuses strictly on sexuality. And as I previously said, the controversy is mentioned in the lead, which is not supposed to contain details; those are to be added later in the article. Ward3001 (talk) 20:34, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Again, the controversy associated with this novel is not over obsession at all--it's over the sexual relationship. The reason that the book was censored and banned, and continues to be controversial, was because it depicted a sexual relationship between an older man and a pre-pubescent girl, not because it depicted an obsession. The current lead does "mention" that there is a controversy, but it misidentifies the source of the controversy. The lead should accurately reflect what the controversy is actually about, conveying to a person who has not read the novel what aspect of the novel's subject matter is in fact controversial.
If you maintain that the obsession is somehow in itself controversial, I don't see any serious problem with including it alongside the information about the sexual relationship in the lead. As it stands, the lead contains no reference whatsoever to the sexual relationship between Humbert and Lolita, a clear problem, given that sex is one of the novel's central preoccupations and the very reason why it was (and remains) controversial. SS451 (talk) 20:52, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
You misunderstand me. I have not said "the obsession is somehow in itself controversial". I have made two separate points. (1) The controversy (regardless of the reason) is mentioned in the lead. The lead does not need details about the controversy; that should be later in the article; and (2) the obsession was more than sexual, and the specific nature of the obsession does not need to be in the lead; the details should be later in the article.
There is more to the novel than the fact that it is/was controversial. It almost certainly would have been a major novel regardless of its controversy. It's current popularity and the recent remake of the film attest to that. To emphasize the sexual nature of the obsession in the lead places undue weight on it and suggests that the other aspects of the obsession are of minor importance in the novel (not the controversy). And it is the overall obsession that is a critical aspect of the novel. Yes, sex made the novel controversial, but neither sex nor controversy define the novel. The lead is about the novel as a whole and should not emphasize sex or controvesy. And please note that I said the lead should not go into detail about either the controversy or sex. I did not say the entire article should not contain those details. If the article were about a novel that is defined by its pornographic controversy, the details of sexuality might be needed in the lead. But that's not the case. Ward3001 (talk) 21:49, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, if you believe that the lead does not need details about the controversy, then would you support striking the phrase about Humbert's obsession altogether? As currently worded, the lead states that the controversy over subject matter stems primarily from Humbert's obsession in and of itself, which is not correct. If all the lead requires is a mention of the fact of the controversy, it's surely preferable to have no description of the source of controversy at all than to have an inaccurate description of the source of controversy. (I admit that I do not totally understand why you oppose the inclusion of a short clause about the sexual character of the book's controversial subject matter, but I assume you have your reasons.) In any event, if the obsession is not the source of the controversy, I find it hard to see how it merits inclusion in the lead--it is, as you would no doubt agree, only one aspect of an enormously complex novel, and not one that has more intrinsic value to the introductory paragraphs than any one of several other aspects of the book's plot and structure. SS451 (talk) 04:48, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
I suggest changing "obsessed with" to "obsessed and sexually involved with". I'm not entirely satisfied with that, but I'll accept it unless or until I can think of a better solution. If so I'll post it here. Ward3001 (talk) 15:58, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
That seems reasonable to me. I'll go ahead and make that change. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this; I'll monitor this section, so if you do think of alternate wording in the future, I'd be glad to give input on it. SS451 (talk) 16:32, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Name changes[edit]

the name changes to Annabel and straight to Lolita. was she reffed to Annabel in the beginning but switched to Lolita as the book progresses? if not, i suggest you use on of those names for the whole plot description. dont use both even if you state that both names can be used. it does confuse some of the readers.Haseo445 (talk) 17:41, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, but your edit makes no sense. Annabel and Lolita both are characters in the book, and the paragraph is perfectly clear in that respect. Ward3001 (talk) 17:45, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Unreliable narrator?[edit]

This article is in the category "Fiction with unreliable narrators" but does not justify this in its text. Brief research suggests the question of whether Humbert is unreliable or not is an open question with some quite respectable authorities coming down on the side of describing him as reliable ([1] [2]). This debate should, I think, be covered, but preferably by somebody who is familiar with the novel (I am not). If it isn't covered, I don't believe the article belongs in the category. Opinions? JulesH (talk) 10:21, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

It is arguable whether or not Humbert is "unreliable" in the sense that his narration contains outright "falsehoods" but it is inarguable that he repeatedly manipulates the way in which he presents or omits information in an attempt to mislead the reader. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:49, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Indeed. Very well put. There are also authorities on both sides of the question. The exact same notion about systemic omissions which manipulate and mislead the reader is also true of Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, also often classified as a novel with an unreliable narrator.
This could be a new section of the article.--WickerGuy (talk) 02:58, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Lichberg's Lolita[edit]

Lichberg's Lolita (which has its own section) needs to be mentioned in the lead section, especially since the title of this article is simply Lolita (the title of Lichberg's Lolita as well). Sound Solkemon (talk) 15:41, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

RfC: Disagreement about contents of lead[edit]

Issue: Is speculation about a 1916 short story serving as the basis for the novel significant enough to include in the lead? Ward3001 (talk) 22:09, 2 June 2009 (UTC)


Sound Solkemon (talk · contribs) has repeatedly placed information about the influence of a 1916 short story in the lead, contrary to WP:LEAD. I would like opinions. Ward3001 (talk) 15:41, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Ward3001 (talk · contribs) has constantly removed a summary of a notable influence (which already had a separate section) from the lead, contrary to WP:LEAD. Sound Solkemon (talk) 15:42, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Btw., a non fiction book is usually not described as a "novel". Sound Solkemon (talk) 15:43, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Inclusion of this material in the lead is specifically a violation of WP:LEAD#Relative emphasis. Having a separate section does not, in and of itself, make something worthy of inclusion in the lead. Ward3001 (talk) 15:45, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

You are wrong. Per WP:LEAD#Relative emphasis, the material needs to be included. It's both well sourced (it has been discussed in sources like the New York Times Magazine[3], the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and The Times Literary Supplement). It's no doubt significant enough to be mentioned in the lead section (some sources have even accused Nabokov of plagiarism[4]). Sound Solkemon (talk) 15:49, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

I'd like to comment on the comment that was just self-removed by Xeno: The book is discussed in the section Lolita#Heinz_von_Lichberg.27s_.22Lolita.22. Maar's (German) Wikipedia biography was created in 2007, his biography speaks for itself, I believe, so I don't understand what you try to insinuate. His book on Lolita has been extensively discussed in the New York Times Magazine, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, The Times Literary Supplement and almost every notable source imaginable. It's notable and it's well sourced. Sound Solkemon (talk) 16:02, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Well, that might explain why I redacted my comment with the edit summary of "oops", yes? –xenotalk 16:40, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
While this should definitely be included in the article I don't see any reason it should be part of the introductory paragraphs. It has little bearing on the novel itself, or on criticism of the novel, and is not something a person looking for information about Lolita generally would be interested in etc. The lead should be synoptic of the article as a whole, but that doesn't imply that everything in the article should be in the lead, placing this there gives it undue weight. There are numerous works that could be mentioned as having an influence on Lolita, from Annabel Lee to Anna Karenina, they have a place is the article, as do Maar's suggestions along with the discussions of possible plagarism and cryptomnesia. Those discussions do not belong in the lead though. (edited for clarity GRC) Grcaldwell (talk) 16:37, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
It's not criticism, it's information about the origin of the Lolita story. I disagree that people looking for information about Lolita would not be interested in the origin of the story, and I fail to see why a sentence on the original Lolita should do any harm (the lead section is way shorter than the lead section of a featured article would be). Also, I'd like to point out that the title of the article is not "Lolita (Nabokov)", it's simply Lolita. If the original Lolita is not mentioned as an influence (like now), it should be included as a disambigation (This article is about the novel by Vladimir Nabokov. For the 1916 short story, see Lolita (short story). For other uses, see Lolita (disambiguation)). Other works have certainly also influenced Nabokov, the difference is that "Lolita" was also the title of a different work from which the central plot appears to be derived. Sound Solkemon (talk) 16:46, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Btw., this information has been included in the article, and had its own section, for several years, I believe. Sound Solkemon (talk) 16:46, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I meant criticism as in critique rather than the other meaning (negative POV). People may well be interested in an enormous number of the details of the book (I would hope so anyway), but those particular details are not relevant to an introductory understanding of the novel, nor is the information concerning a possible influence. I was aware this was already in the article, my point was that being in the article is not sufficient reason to put it in the lead, nor is the lead being too short a very good reason.
Maar makes an argument which is subject to some disagreement concerning the possible influence that the short story had on the novel, only if we accept his persepctive on that argument does it become reasonable to refer to the short story as 'the original Lolita'. The same applies to disambiguation, when someone searches for Lolita, how likely do you think it is that they mean the short story, which only became notable (or even known at all) as a result of Maar's mentioning it in connection with Nabokov. Grcaldwell (talk) 17:57, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Grcaldwell is quite correct. Per WP:WEIGHT, the Maar information has no more relevance to the novel than many other matters discussed in the article but not noted in the lead, such as those mentioned by Grcaldwell, as well as the style and interpretation information, real-life prototype, and film/theatrical adaptations. Sound Solkemon, please give us the specific reasons why the Maar information should have any more weight than these other aspects of the article. And please explain beyond the response "it's well sourced". "Well sourced" and "notable enough for the lead" are not interchangeable concepts. Everything on Wikipedia should be well sourced, but everything in an article does not belong in the lead. Ward3001 (talk) 18:29, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Regarding this RfC, for what it's worth I agree with the arguments presented by Grcaldwell and Ward3001 above. In my opinion, this theory is not a fundamental aspect of the book's notability; as such, while certainly worth noting in the "Sources and links" section, it doesn't warrant coverage in the lead. --Muchness (talk) 06:13, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes in the article, no in the lead. Not important enough. Jumble Jumble (talk) 09:33, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Possible error in article summay[edit]

The first paragraph says, "...first written in English and published in 1950 in Paris, later translated by the author into African and published in 1958 in New York." However, I do not believe that Nabokov spoke any languages besides Russian, French, and English, and,, even if he did, "African" is still far too vague. Perhaps the writer meant "American", although that is hardly a language either. Although Nabokov did translate the book into Russian, this was not until 1967, as the bottom portion of the article agrees. Nevertheless, I have not yet changed anything, for I am still unsure whether it is necessary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:43, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Bad English in Plot summary section[edit]

I started reading the "Plot summary" section of this article as I wanted to find out about the book, and was disappointed. Has anyone spotted the appalling English in that section? It is comparable to the raw output of a web translation engine. Occasional spelling mistakes can be forgiven and even corrected, as I was about to do, but I gave up on this one as I have not read the book.

Samples: 1) "The story starts with a forwards..." - What is "a forwards"? The introductory remarks section at the beginning of a book is called a "foreword" in English. (note spelling, see Oxford Dictionary)

2) "He states that the novel itself is very sexual and unusual but in the future will provide great inight to psychologists of the behaviors of individuals because of the personalities of characters in: "the panting maniac" "wayward child" and the "egotistical child"." - All this in one sentence without punctuation. What is "inight"? "behaviors" (why plural?) I can't work out what the rest of the sentence means.

3) "... set up travel to Americas." - Why is "America" plural?

Please, this is not good enough. It is as if somebody been vandalising by adding the letter "s" to the end of words, and worse. If you wrote this section or if you have read the book, and would like to improve this article, please do so. P0mbal (talk) 23:44, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

At least some of the sections were added today, just before you noticed them. They had not been there long enough for anyone to notice and fix. You are completely empowered to fix it yourself. I don't have the time now, but will check in the morning. (John User:Jwy talk) 07:00, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Too much English in plot summary section![edit]

The real problem with this section is that this novel seems to attract fans who love to summarize! Every week or so a new editor seems to add his own paragraph or couple of sentences, and it gets longer and longer and more and more disjointed over time.

Dybryd (talk) 17:44, 25 July 2009 (UTC)


This is just an attempt to make child molestation legit as just another lifestyle choice. This book should be banned just like other child porn is and certainly Wikipeida shouldn't promote it in anyway except to clasify it as a weak way to expose children to adult manipulation and make child porn and NAMBLA a legit choice (talk) 04:59, 31 July 2009 (UTC)honrea

Please read WP:NPOV and WP:SOAP. Clem (talk) 05:53, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I take it you haven't read the book. It's not any more supportive to its protagonist as The Telltale Heart is to its. You can talk about a subject without promoting it. I mean, the guy comes off as some kind of deranged lunatic. The Bible is probably kinder to Satan than Lolita is to Humbert Humbert. Zazaban (talk) 09:45, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Coinage of "nymphet"[edit]

I have noticed a contradiction over the coinage of the word "nymphet":

The novel's flamboyant style is characterized by word play, double entendres, multilingual puns, anagrams, and coinages such as nymphet, a word that has since had a life of its own and can be found in most dictionaries, and the lesser used "faunlet".

from Lolita


A nymphet is seen to be a sexually precocious, attractive girl, and the term was notably used by French author Pierre de Ronsard, and popularised by Vladimir Nabokov in the novel Lolita.

fron Nymphet --Thanks, Ainlina(box)? 14:04, 27 August 2009 (UTC)


This page is getting too long. I propose archiving.--Thanks, Ainlina(box)? 12:28, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

 Done --Kslotte (talk) 12:20, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Source for moral evaluation of novel[edit]

I have removed a sentence saying that the novel does not endorse pedophilia. Although this is the critical consensus, it needs a source. I removed it rather than just inserting a citation because until we have a source, discussion of how the judgment should be worded is completely beside the point.

I think I remember that Dmitri Nabokov has called the novel "the strongest possible condemnation of pedophilia" -- that quote would certainly be a notable source.

Lolita does not deal with pedophilia which involves sex with children but rather depicts sex acts with a very young teen which I believe has a special name all to itself I cannot remember. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kane Caston (talkcontribs) 17:03, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

The word you tried to recall, Kane, is Hebephilia A Georgian (talk) 13:58, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Sorry if it bothers you but she wasn't a teen, she was twelve. The first "teen" being thirteen and she wasn't even that old. Therefore, she was a child. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:49, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Dybryd (talk) 01:49, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

hebephilia A Georgian (talk) 18:06, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

Plot Description[edit]

This section disappointed me. I find it over simplified and misleading. Humbert Humbert was clearly delusional to a greater or lesser extent throughout the book. This means, since the book was his description, we cannot be sure of many things, for example: it was HE who tells us that Lolita seduced HIM. But later in the book Lolita makes reference to "the first time you [Humbert] raped me". Humbert always believed he treated Lolita with the greatest kindness but again we had only his word to take and it is clear that he would blind himself to those things he did not wish to see (and in some instances he was aware of this).

This section should be written by a literary scholar rather than all and sundry trying to get their 5 eggs worth. For me, this is what devalues wikipedia. And maybe it would be a great idea not to try and just trot out the plot so as not to ruin the book for those that have not read it! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:57, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

The description of Rita when Humbert received Dolly's letter might not be accurate, "Rita figuratively dies when...". In the book, the author mentioned that Rita was "dead to the world", implying that she was sound asleep when Humbert left. It might be true that to Humbert, Rita had "figuratively died" when Dolly's letter arrived, but to someone who have not read the book or noticed this part when reading, this description seems unnecessarily misleading. Killer199208 (talk) 08:14, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Other Media References[edit]

In the last entry, (Glass Wave song), please somebody tell me what this means "The lyrics are sung in her own voice." Umm, what? whose voice? So the lyrics are sung by a fictional woman? I have not heard the song but I would assume that what was meant is something like "The lyrics are written in such a way as to sound as though they were sung by the character herself". yea? (talk) 21:25, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Those pop songs![edit]

My own inclination is to remove pop culture references that simply reference "Lolita" in a generalized sense without making specific mention of Nabokov -- the "Lolita" stereotype is familiar to many people who have never read the novel, and is more relevant to Lolita (term) than this article.

Accordingly, I've taken it upon myself to remove most of the pop songs a number of times. And sure enough, someone always come along a little while later and adds them back in. I don't want to seem like a simple snob, and if the consensus is that these songs are relevant to the novel, I'm happy to let them stand. But is that really the consensus, or is it simply the preference of the singers' loyal fans?

What do people think? I would like to agree on a consensus that can be a guide going forward.

Dybryd (talk) 21:07, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Of course you are right that they are not relevant to the novel, but people will add their pet factoids. Have you tried transferring them to the Lolita (term) page? Would that be a solution? Rothorpe (talk) 22:31, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Number of chapters in Lolita[edit]

Why does the main article cite 36 chapters in Lolita? My copy has 69; 33 in Part I and 36 in Part II. (talk) 19:42, 6 August 2010 (UTC)Olds88

Two points:
    • For other editors: This IP is a sock of Dabrasha (talk · contribs) (who also edits on other IPs from the vicinity of Concord, California, USA). Dabrasha was blocked indefinitely for vandalism and edit warring on this very issue.
    • This article is about the novel that begins in chapter 1 with "Lolita, light of my life ..." and ends in chapter 36 with Humbert killing Quilty and being arrested. If an editor wishes to create another article for a different volume, that needs to be done with proper sourcing. It does not belong in this article, which focuses on the widely known novel that ends with chapter 36. Cresix (talk) 19:55, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes, part II of the novel ends in chapter 36. But part I ends in chapter 33. The 2 parts of Lolita are numbered 1-33 and 1-36 respectively. Please review a physical copy of the book.

    • For other editors: Thanks for looking into this. I like articles about books to be accurate. (talk) 20:05, 6 August 2010 (UTC)Doc

No inaccuracy and nothing to look into. I repeat, this article is about the novel that begins in chapter 1 with "Lolita, light of my life ..." and ends in chapter 36 with Humbert killing Quilty. That is indisputable, and it is sourced quite well with a link to the Google view of the novel. If you want to discuss other chapters please stop disrupting this article and create another article. No one is stopping you from doing that. And stop your sockpuppetry and edit warring. Cresix (talk) 20:10, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

I think to avoid the confusion created, we need to just omit any reference to number of chapters. Cresix (talk) 20:28, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
For what it is worth, in my Vintage copy: Part I, Chapter 33 ends on page 142 with "You see, she had absolutely nowhere else to go." Part II cover page is on the next page, and Part II, Chapter 1 starting on page 145 with "It was then that began our extensive travels all over the States." --John (User:Jwy/talk) 21:04, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, I'd argue against omitting the total number of chapters. Nabokov planned this book and all his novels meticulously. The total number of chapters in Lolita is not an accident, and it (the number) adds a risque element to the book, which one might argue he intended. (talk) 21:11, 6 August 2010 (UTC)Dabrasha
Absurd. The number of chapters does not "add a risque element to the book". And please don't add a bunch of rubbish about 69 chapters related to a sexual position. That's your personal overanalysis. The number of chapters is irrelevant. Your personal analysis certainly doesn't belong in the plot summary. If you can find reliable sources for your interpretations of Nabokov's intent, at most it could be added as a sentence in an analysis section (fully sourced). But even that is stretching it. Don't add violation of WP:NPOV and WP:RS to your other policy violations. Cresix (talk) 21:21, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
BTW, Dabrasha, it's another policy violation to use an IP to evade a block. Cresix (talk) 21:23, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree with both your points, Cresix. A quick google search shows no "third party" source indicating the significance of the number in this case. And it would probably be a good idea for Dabrasha to "play by the rules" here if s/he would like to be, as I think possible, a productive contributor to this project. --John (User:Jwy/talk) 22:19, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for making the Lolita article accurate. It's my favorite book! (talk) 22:02, 6 August 2010 (UTC)Dabrasha

Dabrasha, seriously. Get your block cleared before editing again. You are risking more serious sanctions. Cresix (talk) 22:06, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

I dont know about the 69 thing though going by the anagrams clues references and puzzles of that nature throughout the book I wouldnt discount it. One thing I do want to say however is that I am fairly sure the book is divided into several parts each containing numbers of chapters. Are you sure the version that has only 36 chapters in total is not an abridged version? Mine is the original and part one ends with chapter 33 and part 2 which ends in chapter 36 which does indeed add up to 69. Now I dont really care less but this appears to be facts and its right in front of me right now and I just rechecked. BTW Ive forgotten how to make my tag come up as a link to my contributor page. Kane Caston. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kane Caston (talkcontribs) 17:20, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

Katy Perry trivia[edit]

In this edit, somebody (re-)extends

In her song "[[One of the Boys]]", [[Katy Perry]] confesses that she "studied Lolita religiously."


In the title song of her mainstream debut "[[One of the Boys]]", [[Katy Perry]] says that she "studied Lolita religiously", and the cover-shot of the album references Lolita's appearance in the earlier Stanley Kubrick film. Perry has admitted in interviews to a fascination with the Lolita concept, identifying with the character,<ref>{{cite web |url= | title=Interview: Katy Perry – Singer, Songwriter and Producer |author=Clayton Perry |date= 07/18/2008 |work= |publisher= |accessdate=8 February 2011}}</ref> naming her guitar Lolita,<ref>{{cite web |url= |title=Katy Perry: Not just one of the boys: A minister?s daughter turned pop provocateur brings some candy-colored girl power to the Warped Tour |author=Scott Thill |date= June 16, 2008|work= |publisher=Katy Perry Forum |accessdate=8 February 2011}}</ref> and having at a young age having her fashion sense influenced by Swain's outfits in the later Adrian Lynne film.<ref>{{cite news|url=|title=Katy Perry on the risqué business of I Kissed a Girl|last=Harris|first=Sophie|date=August 30, 2008|work=The Times|accessdate=March 2, 2009 | location=London}}</ref>

That some singer "has admitted in interviews to a fascination with the Lolita concept, identifying with the character" to me says something about the pop singer but precious little about the novel. Ditto for her choice of name for her guitar, and ditto for having wanted, as a kid, to look like the main character in a movie that has its own, separate article within Wikipedia.

This is all part of "references in other media". I don't even know what the medium is in which the young Perry wanted to look like Swain.

Here's the edit summary:

The extra material on Kate Perry is there to establish WP:NOTABILITY by providing context. Here's a better version than the removed one.

Notability of what, to what? Perry doesn't affect Lolita a jot; if Lolita affects her, perhaps this should go into the article on her. Within this article, how is this stuff more than deletable trivia? -- Hoary (talk) 07:50, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

I am a lot less sure (I mean really significantly less sure) on this one than the Morrissey stuff below which I replied to earlier. Someone else initially put in the Katy Perry stuff, which I then extended to keep it as notable. WP states "However, passing mentions in books, television or film dialogue, or song lyrics should be included only when that mention's significance is itself demonstrated with secondary sources." However, what this really means is citing "a respected expert attesting to the importance of a subject as a cultural influence". I would have to agree Perry's infatuation with Lolita doesn't qualify, and we don't really have any info on how Perry has impacted the public's perception of Nabokov's novel (possibly because she's so recent- in another 10 years maybe someone will have written about it). Granted, what we've got is not info on the impact of Perry's reference on the public (and its understanding of the novel), but the impact of the novel on Perry. What actually strikes me as more relevant than the song reference is the album-cover reference. This will still need to be either reworked or deleted.--WickerGuy 16:59, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
If some significance can be shown for Perry's use of an image from the earlier film of Lolita, then this can be added to a pop culture trivia section within the article on that film. -- Hoary (talk) 23:41, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, I've re-edited the section to make it bit more generic. Perry is familiar with both films and the novel, uses imagery from the first film on her album, but her first exposure to the story was actually the second film, and the song lyric uses the word "studied" which implies a reference to the book per se, so I'm kinda guessing that this is the place for it.--WickerGuy (talk) 00:29, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
What is (or a few minutes ago was) quoted contains this hilarious line: the album's artwork is steeped in Nabokovian imagery (heart-shaped glasses, lollipops, and lots of pink) (my emphasis). Apparently in all seriousness, Wikipedia's article on the novel Lolita now cites the writing of somebody who clearly doesn't know the novel Lolita. (This nitwit is quoted too, but less reverently.) ¶ Meanwhile, words in pop lyrics are often chosen more for prosodic reasons than anything else; I see no reason to take so seriously a single "studied". -- Hoary (talk) 00:45, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, I can't testify to how well that writer really knows the novel. He has a PhD in English literature (2009) from UC-Santa Barbara, and currently teaches at Santa Barbara City College. But he does seem to be confusing Nabokov's own style with the film(s) and popular associations with the story, unless he chooses to define Nabokovian loosely enough to include popular associations. But most listeners to the song presuppose that when Perry says she "studied" Lolita, she is referring to the novel. Oddly, the persona of the song chooses to distance herself from the character, which we haven't mentioned.--WickerGuy (talk) 01:27, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Googling shows that his PhD thesis was "Shelley's Closet: Sexuality, History, Romanticism", and that Shelley and LBGT stuff are his thing. He may have excellent study skills but he hasn't applied them here. So he's careless at best; I don't know why this WP article should straight-facedly present misconceptions as citable authority. -- Hoary (talk) 03:29, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, I can't prove it on Wikipedia without violating the no original research principle (one must correlate a lot of blogs) but it seems that quite a few Katy Perry fans have been reading the book as a consquence of her song, a boost similar to that initiated by the more serious memoir Reading Lolita in Tehran. This doesn't happen a lot with similar pop references. The band Dada (generally much less well-exposed than Katy Perry) in 1992 had a song called "Posters" which had the line "She asked me if I ever read Lolita"- which had no discernible impact on the readership of the novel whatsoever. Indeed one blogger I recall talking about the novel says if Lolita lived in 2010 she would be dressed like Katy Perry.--WickerGuy (talk) 01:49, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
I'd have thought that this says more about the psychopathology of fandom -- mentally dressing a fictional character in the clothes of the adored starlet? -- than it does about Lolita. If Perry's interest in the Lolita movies, and perhaps even the novel, led to more popularity of the book in the library or higher sales, then perhaps this will appear in a reliable source. -- Hoary (talk) 03:29, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Also, the Katy Perry/Lolita connection is getting attention in both French and Italian magazines (L'espresso and Les Inrockuptibles) respectively. I do not read these languages sufficiently well to cite them as sources.--WickerGuy (talk) 02:53, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
People working on Perry's article are welcome to concoct paragraphs over this, either in Katy Perry or in Katy Perry and Lolita or similar. But as long as it's here, all of this talk reminds me of the article on Harajuku, a small area of Tokyo with lots of little clothes shops for teens (conformist or adventurous), and (since the replacement of the Dōjunkai apartments there by a shopping mall) also a lot of bland "brand" fashion shops whose content is identical to those in any other pricy Tokyo shopping mall. The article on Harajuku was worse than this one on Lolita, but not misleading. Then another north American popster started fantasizing about the place, and pretty soon a (the?) major part of the article was waffle about the popster's Harajuku-irrelevant "Harajuku Girls". (Now that the Girls have their own article), the Harajuku article has returned to sanity.) -- Hoary (talk) 03:29, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Morrissey trivia[edit]

In this edit, somebody adds:

Several of the poems from the Morrissey collection were set to music by composer Sid Rabinovitch, and performed at the New Music Festival in Winnipeg in 1993.<ref>{{cite web |url= |title=Coteau Authors: Kim Morrissey |author= |date= |work= |publisher=Coteau Books |accessdate=8 February 2011}}</ref>

as a separate derivative literary work, after "Poems for Men who Dream of Lolita by Kim Morrissey".

This comes with the edit summary:

I really think at least the musical adaptations of KM belong here, if not the subsequent anthologization. Perhaps listed as a separate work will make it work.

But they're not separate; they derive -- if I am to believe this, and I haven't looked it up -- from Morrissey's poems. And they're already mentioned in the article on Kim Morrissey, to which there is a conspicuous link. Again, within this article, how is this stuff more than deletable trivia? -- Hoary (talk) 07:57, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't know which poems of Morrissey were adapted to music, but their text makes many definite reference to characters and incidents in Nabokov's novel, and thus the musical adaptations both constitute a derivative work in its own right and illustrate the notability of Morrissey's poems.
I don't see any reason to exclude per se works that are two degrees of derivation removed from the source. The film version of South Pacific is based on the stage musical which in turn is based on James Michener's book Tales of the South Pacific. Does the film then NOT belong in a discussion of works derived from James Michener's novel?? Kate Bush's song "Wuthering Heights" is specifically inspired by the Olivier/Garson/Wyler film of Bronte's novel- she had not read the book when she wrote it- but is still acknowledged in Wikipedia as a derivative work from Bronte.
Wikipedia:"In popular culture" content states

When trying to decide if a pop culture reference is appropriate to an article, ask yourself the following: 1. Has the subject acknowledged the existence of the reference? 2. Have reliable sources that don't generally cover the subject pointed out the reference? 3. Did any real-world event occur because of the reference? If you can't answer "yes" to at least one of these, you're just adding trivia

1. No, Nabokov is dead. (I don't think his estate has commented.)
2. It can be inferred from them.
3. Yes, the musical adaptations were performed at a reputable music festival.
I concede it is problematic to include further background on the author's broad interest in the theme of ephebophilia. That does seem dispensable to me.--WickerGuy (talk) 16:33, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
"Two degrees of derivation" (1):
I don't see any reason to exclude per se works that are two degrees of derivation removed from the source. The film version of South Pacific is based on the stage musical which in turn is based on James Michener's book Tales of the South Pacific. Does the film then NOT belong in a discussion of works derived from James Michener's novel??
I rarely see discussions of derivative works. Far more often, they're mere lists. However, the current version the article on Tales of the South Pacific is a refreshing counterexample. A reader of even moderate intelligence will see
The musical play South Pacific (which opened on Broadway on April 7, 1949), by Rodgers and Hammerstein, was based on these stories.
and understand.
"Two degrees of derivation" (2):
Kate Bush's song "Wuthering Heights" is specifically inspired by the Olivier/Garson/Wyler film of Bronte's novel- she had not read the book when she wrote it- but is still acknowledged in Wikipedia as a derivative work from Bronte.
"Real-world" significance:
3. Did any real-world event occur because of the reference?
3. Yes, the musical adaptations were performed at a reputable music festival.
The works were performed, but we have no particular reason to think that they wouldn't have been performed if they lacked the reference. Thus there's no reason to think that the reference caused the real-world event.
If you don't require such causation, then this argument of yours, if I understand it correctly, would confer real-world significance to (for example) every published derivative short story or poem, via the "real-world event" of its mere publication. -- Hoary (talk) 23:37, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Lots of music gets published but never performed in prestigious music festivals, but generally you are saying that the musical work needs some independent significance of its own (independent of Morrissey) to merit conclusion. Actually, later sources reveal the adaptation was an opera as such including most of the poems and further material. So if I can find independent discussion of the work outside of a mainly Kim Morrissey context, I think its inclusion can be justified.--WickerGuy (talk) 00:37, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, all references to this work are in bios of Kim Morrissey (which is odd since Sid Rabinovitch is a moderately middling well-known composer in Winnepeg with some web-presence in other contexts). The music festival in question may not be of sufficiently major significance to establish notability, but it still strikes me as verging on notability. I will continue to ruminate about this.--WickerGuy (talk) 01:01, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

"Further reading"[edit]

Here's an item within the "Further reading" section:

Appel, Alfred, Jr. (1974). Nabokov's Dark Cinema. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN None. A pioneering study of Nabokov's interest in and literary uses of film imagery.

My own copy is lying on my table in front of me. It's a lovely book, ISBN 0-19-501834-6. (Couldn't the people who created this article get any one paragraph right?) It has an index, in which Lolita appears. But not one chapter is devoted to Lolita.

Though it does say more about Lolita than does, say, the fantasies about Dominique Swain by some girl who'd later be a pop singer, it's less informative about the novel than is, say, The Garland Companion to Vladimir Nabokov (1995). May I remove it, and miscellaneous other papers that neither are cited by this messy article nor are obviously of great importance to Lolita?

(Normally I'd do so without asking, but others' enthusiasm for retaining and adding tangential trivia makes me pause.)

Apropos of further reading, I'd recommend that would-be contributors to this article did more of it. And not merely via Google but instead via books from university presses or comparable publishers, available in good libraries. The second half of Boyd's biography is a fine place to start. -- Hoary (talk) 08:57, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Although I've read two anthologies of essays on Lolita and one full-length study Lolita: A Janus Text, I haven't employed any of these in my contributions to the article. Mea culpa!--WickerGuy (talk) 16:19, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
However, pages 86-88 of the Appel book Nabokov's Dark Cinema are indeed about "Lolita", even if not a whole chapter. Scattered references to "Lolita" appear on dozens of other pages of the book. A whole discussion of the tennis-game in "Lolita" appears on pp. 116-118 of the book. Please take your own advice about doing further reading.
The book Nabokov's Dark Cinema appears as a bibliographic reference in "Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita: a casebook" and "Approaches to teaching Nabokov's Lolita" by Zoran Kuzmanovich and Harold Bloom's casebook on "Lolita" and in one short essay on "Lolita" in the anthology "Twentieth-century American fiction on screen". Clearly the book belongs in WP's bibliography even if there is not a full chapter focused on Lolita.--WickerGuy (talk) 18:26, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Specifically on p. 86 Appel writes "Lolita offers a dazzling assemblage of vulgar parts, a culmination of negative images, the movies in particular." The short essay I mentioned in the next paragraph states "By crowding Lolita with references to moves and stars and spectatorship, Nabokov brings Rene Girard's notion of "tiangular" and "memetic" desire into the age of mass media." with a footnote saying "Many of these references are detailed by Alfred Appel, Jr. in "Nabokov's Dark Cinema". Again, keep this in the bibliography.--WickerGuy (talk) 18:46, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Should the list of "further reading" then list any and all works that intelligently devote several pages to the novel and that are cited in other works about it? I suspect that this would lead to its length ballooning.
Again, this is not to denigrate Nabokov's Dark Cinema, which is far more interesting than numerous books about Nabokov's works. (And although I've never seen Appel's Signs of Life, I can recommend his The Art of Celebration.) -- Hoary (talk) 23:51, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Probably not. But the author of this book, is also an acclaimed expert on Lolita and author (or I should say annotator) of The Annotated Lolita- thus lending some weight to the inclusion of his work Dark Cinema in the bibliography. I'm not attached to this- but it seems to be fairly ubiquitous in quite a lot of other bibliographies.--WickerGuy (talk) 00:26, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Request for Reference[edit]

Honestly, since the Wikipedia article on Umberto Eco documents to kingdom come that Eco is a professional scholar and the reference to him in this article has a wikilink to his article on WP, I honestly don't see why we need to reference here that he is a scholar, especially as this is well-known to readers of his novels. However, I have provided a link to his Amazon page, but somewhat under protest.--WickerGuy (talk) 19:49, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

OK. Protest noted. I'm trying to keep Wikipedia up to standards. This article attracts a moderate amount of unsourced and/or trivial crap, and the more we can keep everything within standards, the less likely that is to happen. I do appreciate that the link to his article may have been sufficient for his notability as a scholar, and I'll try to be more flexible if that happens again. But the original edit of this item was woefully inadequate, and I feel no apology is needed for that challenge. Thanks for the additional sourcing. Cresix (talk) 21:05, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I myself am not the IP editor who added the original edit. In fact, as a dual fan of Nabokov and Eco, I was surprised I hadn't heard of this bit of business. Generally very basic biographical info of someone who already has a WP article need not be sourced in a reference to them, though I think more marginal info should be. In an article on fantasy, you don't need to source that Tolkien was a philologist (basic biographical stuff), but you might need to source that he spent a summer vacation in France.[[
Granted, Eco is a far better known household name in Europe than America. (THe only movie of one of his novels The Name of The Rose was a mega-blockbuster in Europe, and seen by almost no one in America, in spite of the casting of Sean Connery.) And he is well-known in America among literature buffs and medievalists, but generally less-so than Europe. To Europeans, asking for a cite that he is a scholar is a bit silly, rather like asking for a cite that Isaac Asimov was a biology professor, or that C.S. Lewis was a Renaissance lit professor, or that Melville was a sailor. But Eco is less well-known in the United States.--WickerGuy (talk) 22:18, 7 March 2011 (UTC)


The "references in other media" section has become a pop culture trivia coatrack. Material, frequently unsourced, has accumulated there with no regard for relevance or weight. I've added a tag and reverted a recent addition of an unsourced fact. We do not need a vast bulleted list of random pop culture tidbits that happen to mention this very famous book.--Cúchullain t/c 20:16, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

A while back it was a tad longer, then I think it got deleted in totality, and now there's this smaller version. Everything is backed by secondary sources, the standard procedure for establishing notability according to WP:POPCULTURE, except for the final paragraph which is the only part devoted to works that mention the "Lolita concept" instead of the specific story-line of Nabokov's novel!! (Even with the sourced stuff the article would be improved by putting some of the cultural commentary from the sources in the main article. For example, re the Police song he mere footnote on The rise of the jailbait song is probably insufficient- we should probably say in the body something of what the article's cultural commentary says.) In part, I've also tried to keep what is there largely on the basis of the prominence of the artist's overall work as a whole. Clearly, Woody Allen and Sting are prominent enough artists to merit mention of their allusions to Nabokov.
In that last paragraph on works that mention the "Lolita concept" rather than Nabokov's story (the one & only paragraph with no secondary sources to establish notability), I have purposely confined the list to songs in which the ENTIRE SONG is about that concept and the artist's work as a whole is well-known. This would go beyond what you describe as "just happen to mention". Thus we would NOT include "Damn You Look Good and I'm Drunk (Scandalous)" by Cobra Starship (only one line of dialogue about the Lolita concept- it's in the 23 October 2009 version of this article in the "Trivia" section which no longer exists). Nor would one include "lolita" by the indie band Elefant (not a well-known artist- it's in the 15 January 2010 of this article). I realize this is not a strict adherence to WP:POPCULTURE's demand for secondary sources, but I think it's a good criterion.
I personally felt that recent addition by some IP editor was useful, because it was the only song in the final paragraph about a bitter victim rather than an over-curious or over-precocious girl, thus rounding out the selection. WP:COATRACK mentions two problems, irrelevancy and bias. I hope there's no bias here. The relevance is to illustrate the generic "Lolita" concept entering pop culture as result of Nabokov's novel as established in the footnote to the opening sentence of this troubled final paragraph.--WickerGuy (talk) 21:20, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
There is a long and unfortunate history going back several years of every mention of the word "Lolita" (over even an allusion to the idea of taboo relationships with underage females) getting piled into the article. And it's true; at one time the list was huge. If someone didn't trim out the junk occasionally, it would be the longest section of the article. We had some debate, and the pop culture zealots vowed to clean it up and add sources, after which they quickly disappeared. I can tolerate (but not like) well sourced pop culture references that relate to the novel (The Police song is a good example; it specifically mentions Nabokov), but the term "lolita" has expanded beyond the novel. I am much less tolerant of pop culture items that refer only to the "lolita" concept with no discernible relationship to the novel. And I am intolerant of items added with no source to it's relevance. My two cents. But I think even those who are more accepting of trivia must acknowledge that this article has been a crap magnet. Cresix (talk) 23:27, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Cresix, I think we are on nearby pages even if not really on the same page. My only diff (as stated previously) is that if the entire song lyrics (NOT just one line) are about the "lolita" concept, it may belong here, but of course all of these could be moved to Lolita (term). And if they are here, they must be grouped together in one paragraph(!!), not strewn throughout the list!! Yes, the article has definitely been a crap magnet. And I like the recently deleted entry, because it is the only 'concept' song written from the point of view of the voice of a victim, which is why if we keep any of these at all, I would want its inclusion.--WickerGuy (talk) 23:35, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree we're close to the same page. And I don't have a problem with including the most recent addition if its relevance is sourced. BTW, WickerGuy, thanks for your improvements to the article. Cresix (talk) 23:38, 14 April 2011 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

No consensus to move. I do think that the incoming links need cleaning up. Vegaswikian (talk) 23:43, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

LolitaLolita (novel)

Oppose With 120,000 views a month, I would say it's a pretty notable novel.[5] It is also Google's No. 1 topic for the word Lolita. Topic No. 2 is the 1962 Stanley Kubrick movie with 24,000 views a month.[6] Topic No. 3 is the 1997 movie. Since both movies are based on the novel, they are not reasons to bump the novel out of primary topic. Kauffner (talk) 07:40, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Since it's located at the primary location, how are you accounting for the wrong hits? (talk) 04:28, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Oppose The novel is what comes to (my) mind first, Lolita as a name became a term for a character like that in the novel, and many of the other "Lolitas" - if not most then the more important ones - are based on the novel, including the opera. Prime importance. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:20, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Strongly Oppose. Outside the USA, this is generally regarded as one of the great American novels on par with The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath although Americans are in general disinclined to take credit for it as one of their great literary achievements.
The novel is listed as the 4th best novel of the 20th century in a list by Modern Library, listed in the century's top 100 novels (#11) by the Radcliffe Institute [7] (Sandwiched between Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" and Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury"). The UK based "Telegraph" listed in #62 among the 100 best novels [8] (oddly once again adjacent to Of Mice and Men) etc.
Outside of critic's polls, UK-based Waterstone publishing did a reader's poll of the best novels of the 20th century. Lolita came out #31 [9] (three places ahead of Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" this time- they so often seem to be close on the list!!)
Anthony Appleyard, if this is the first time you have heard of this book, and you are having to ask just how notable it is, I can easily conclude you are a fairly young resident of the United States where the residents are shielded from the knowledge of just how highly reputable this novel is abroad.--WickerGuy (talk) 13:42, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Strong oppose especially per Kauffner. One of the most significant English-language novels of the 20th century and the primary topic by any measure. And not that it matters terribly, but the novel is regarded as extremely significant in the United States.--Cúchullain t/c 15:14, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes, that's true. I just think that in the US the significance is more acknowledged by professional critics and literati. I think the general public is more aware of its significance outside the US. (Of the 4 stage adaptations, only one has been staged in the US. Of the four opera or ballet adaptations, only one has been staged in the US. That should tell you something.)--WickerGuy (talk) 17:40, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
And both movie versions were filmed in the U.S., and there was even a Broadway adaptation, which is American by definition, and every companion to 20th-century American lit I own discusses the book... but regardless, the point is, this is the primary topic by any measure.Cúchullain t/c 20:06, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Oppose - A reader interested in "Lolita" in many forms will find what they need on this page (plot, characters, etc.) or on a link from this page - as most of its uses are derived from the novel. Adding a disambiguation page will just slow them down to this information (IMO). --John (User:Jwy/talk) 19:49, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Oppose for all the reasons stated above. Most readers are looking for the article to the novel, and for those who aren't, the link to dab at the top of the page is quite sufficent. Cresix (talk) 20:56, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Comment— Of 24 items on the dab page, at least 12 and maybe 17 are derived from or allude to the novel. —Tamfang (talk) 00:21, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Actually it would be more correct to say about 6 items refer to works derivative from the novel and about 6 more refer to works derivative from the "Lolita" concept which is in turn derivative from the novel.--WickerGuy (talk) 00:33, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
To pick a hyper-nit, Lolita (term) and Lolita fashion and Amy Fisher and Lolicon aren't 'works'. —Tamfang (talk) 06:22, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I was referring to the multiple pop songs on the list, not Fisher or fashion, nor any fusion of the two.--WickerGuy (talk) 13:24, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
My 12 didn't count all the songs, since I don't know enough about them. (Make that 11: I was wrong about Lolita fashion.) —Tamfang (talk) 05:49, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Request for Comment- I am a bit acronym-impaired here. I get that dab is "disambiguation", but I honestly don't know what OP is.--WickerGuy (talk) 00:24, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Original post(er); borrowed from Usenet. —Tamfang (talk) 06:24, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Other comment- I guess in terms of WP guidelines, what we are looking at is WP:PRIMARYTOPIC.--WickerGuy (talk) 00:29, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

The numbers- If you count articles ONLY, (not Talk pages or User Talk pages) there are 247 articles proper that refer to this article Lolita. But only 54 of them contain the Template:Nabokov Prose. User:Anthony Appleyard has written "Page Lolita has many incoming links (fewer if I call search for links from articles only), but I suspect that many of these links are via transclusions of Template:Nabokov Prose." It turns out just under 22% of the links are via such a transclusion, leaving 193 articles linking here without that template.--WickerGuy (talk) 04:22, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Support "Lolita (term)" and "Lolita (fashion)" should have high primarity values as well. Consider the Long Island Lolita, and other usages of the term. And the subcultural issues with the weird fashion. (talk) 04:30, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
    • The term is derived from the novel, but the fashion (mostly Japanese) does not. "Long Island Lolita" is definitely derived from the term, in turn derived from the novel. There are 53 articles that link per se to the article Lolita (term), but a full 238 that link to the article Lolita (fashion) almost competing with those that link to the novel. I think you have a moderately good case on the fashion (especially for Japanese readers of English Wikipedia), but a weak case on the term.--WickerGuy (talk) 05:01, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
      • Lolita (term) is important in a dictionary but not so much in an encyclopedia (see Wikipedia is not a dictionary for more info on the difference). Lolita fashion is derivative and is not called simply "Lolita" here. Not that it matters but the Japanese Wikipedia page called ロリータ (Rorīta, i.e., Lolita) is for the novel and is not a dab page. —  AjaxSmack  16:20, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
      • Agree. But I believe that "Lolita fashion" is not derivative from the novel, whetever else it may be derivative from.--WickerGuy (talk) 17:35, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
        • The word is apparantly from the novel, understood in the sense of "fantasy girl."[10] I guess the Japanese look at these things differently. In the most famous of all Japanese novels, The Tale of Genji, the man is 18 and the girl is 10. Kauffner (talk) 02:00, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
          • I believe that at that point in Genji, he simply courts her and educates her to be his eventual bride down the line- not atypical of many medieval societies.--WickerGuy (talk) 02:28, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
            • He also kidnaps and rapes her, you know. Maybe that was typical too, but in Japan the story is considered the ultimate romance. Lolita fashion is actually based the dresses in Alice in Wonderland. I guess it's easy to mix up all those foreigner novels. Kauffner (talk) 04:54, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
              • I didn't know that. Is that some kind of bizarre nobility privilege, like the right of nobles to "first-fruits" on the wedding-night (largely fictional see Droit de seigneur but figures prominently in Marriage of Figaro)?
                • Despite what the Wikipedia article says (uncited) about the term origin, one of the article's sources says: "It is generally assumed though that the name of the fashion comes from a distortion of the meaning while word-borrowing from English. In the case of the fashion the term 'Lolita' only refers to the child-like nature of some of the clothes and is also used because of the beauty or cuteness of the name."[11] Anyway, as User: notes below, derivation is not always a major determinant. —  AjaxSmack  15:37, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
      • It doesn't matter where something originates, otherwise a bunch of minor English towns would sit at primary locations over major US cities (although that does seem to be the motivation of some English editors who wish to rename US cities to something else to allow English towns to take the primary name). I think the term has sufficient primary-level value that a dismabiguation page is better than the novel as primary. (talk) 03:54, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
More numbers

Lolita has been viewed 37479 times in 201105. This article ranked 2075 in traffic on Lolita_(term) has been viewed 5018 times in 201105. [again on Wikipedia] (I would say this mitigates against the move, but I have only one vote.) Of the first ten Google hits, 7 are related to the novel, or films based on the novel, 3 relate to the term in general. (Ditto on mitigation, but again I have only one vote.)--WickerGuy (talk) 16:36, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Since this is sitting at the primary location, you're not accounting for hits that want something else (such as topics that don't have articles on Wikipedia). (talk) 06:28, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
This statistic is overtly mentioned at WP:PRIMARYTOPIC as a guideline for determining what the primary topic might be. One can only compare it to other existing topics, though your remark about non-existence suggests a listing of hits on the disambiguation page might be an idea as well. And indeed, Lolita_(disambiguation) has been viewed 2750 times in 201105 (even less than Lolita (term) and Lolita_fashion has been viewed 14225 times in 201105 (about half the views of this article).--WickerGuy (talk) 14:47, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

(On the other hand, on Google hits 11-20, the term dominates over the novel.)--WickerGuy (talk) 16:38, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose The novel is the primary meaning by a clear margin, the only other meanings approaching it are the earlier film and the general use of the term. I am surprised that this is an issue. PatGallacher (talk) 20:13, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Case History Of A Wikipedia Page: Nabokov’s 'Lolita'[edit]

TheAwl has a Case History Of A Wikipedia Page: Nabokov’s 'Lolita', FYI. --Tagishsimon (talk) 13:48, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Obvious keywords[edit]

I sometimes look at the Wikipedia as a way to link related terms to articles. As this is an article substantively about rape and incest, I found that such terms should be used to some degree to describe the events of the novel. I added sexual predator, rape, incest, child sexual abuse, and tragedy, plus mentioned "his criminal behavior." While these terms are not necessarily in the 50s era book, if this was a contemporary true story, these are the sorts of words that would be used in a newspaper article or a police report to describe Humbert's actions with his nymphet. I like to saw logs! (talk) 17:41, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

As sympathetic as I may be to your point of view personally, I think this violates WP's WP:NPOV policy, and is especially bad as the novel is (in)famous for its refusal to take any definite moral stand one way or the other. Nabokov is known to hold his cards very close to his chest.
For example, while some stage adaptations of Lolita very much portray Humbert as a predator (notably the one-man monologue show staged with actor Brian Cox and at least one of the two ballet adaptations), the 2nd film adaptation done in the late 1990s is fairly notorious for portraying him very much as a lost boy who hasn't grown up and by implication really not a (by intention) a predator. In Cox's play, Humbert is Dracula (that's my metaphor), whereas in Lynne's move, Humbert is a rather dark variant of Peter Pan (again that's my metaphor). This moral and psychological ambiguity is very much a hallmark of the novel, as as such, the vocabulary added to this article really should not be here.
Similarly, you won't find any critical discussions of the novel that use these words as undisputed fact, although certainly many interpreters of the novel and adapters of it argue vigorously for this interpretation. (Indeed, Lolita in the novel does at least once speak of Humbert raping her.)
I feel your changes need to be reverted.--WickerGuy (talk) 05:52, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
For example, I find the interpretation of this novel by Lionel Trilling to be more than a bit disturbing, but he literally inteprets it as a story of forbidden love, just like Tristan and Isolde or Romeo and Juliet. Almost no reader of the novel today buys that line, but again it calls attention to the deliberate ambiguity of the novel.--WickerGuy (talk) 06:04, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Well, perhaps discussing it clinically as literature, we might not use those words. But viewing it from beyond the presentation in the novel, an encyclopedia can call a spade a spade, and see through any barriers put up through the presentation of the story. A judge, a jury, or a prosecutor would prefer the words I used. The narrator, perpetrator, and the victim might prefer the words void of any clinical or legal meaning.

So you say that book critics who avoid these terms are right because they forgo criticism of the book's topics by concentrating on the literature? So the circumcision article should not link to genital modification and mutilation? If we look at circumcision as a religious practice, are we to ignore the fact that it is variously described as mutilation? If scientists, clinicians, and legal practitioners would describe events in Lolita terms like rape and incest or predation, why not use those terms? I am wondering if this is censorship or point of view? It's as if this story is inside a special fence in which terminology must relate to Humbert's view. And as long as we are inside his house of cards, we must submit to his morals and vocabulary.

I would submit that if a discussion on the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn article did not include the terms such as "racism" when describing Huck Finn and "bigot" or similar terms when describing other characters, we would be flabbergasted. The racism element is so widely debated; however, it was not a term used by Huck in his narration. ("Race" is used only to mention the "human race.") So how do you explain people labeling Huck a racist and yet Humbert isn't a child molester because of his vocabulary or semantics? Neither narrator thought it fitting to label himself anything but someone having the best of intentions. But no level of protestations by Huck or Humbert will convince me that "racist" on the one hand or "predator" on the other are unsupported accusations for these respective characters. I like to saw logs! (talk) 08:27, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Whether we are flabbergasted or not is not a Wikipedia criteria for inclusion nor is just including links an editor thinks should be there: notable mention in reliable sources is. That said, I suspect you can find appropriate sources to add/amend sections here that discuss the reception of the novel using the words you seem intent on having linked here. With good references in footnotes, that would be appropriate. Moving them to the lead would require further discussion, I suspect. --John (User:Jwy/talk) 16:10, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
The changes were no improvement, and rightfully reverted.--Cúchullain t/c 18:06, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree fully and wholeheartedly that all the keywords User:Uruiamme wished to add to this article belong in the "reception" section of the WP article rather than the lede. However, I could be persuaded also to include "molestation" or "pedophilia" in the lede.
However, the analogy with Huck Finn doesn't work, because what makes Lolita distinctive is that the reader is allowed multiple frameworks from which to view the story, thus allowing a kind of "Gestalt switch". Many readers of Lolita alternate between an ethical frame of reference, and an empathy with Humbert's quest to re-establish the lost bliss of his youthful love (when H was himself 14) with Annabel Leigh. Readers don't "submit" to Humbert's morals- most readers find themselves alternately seduced by Humbert's prose and then finding the spell broken, gradually switching modes back and forth. For some readers (there's a whole book on the novel Lolita arguing exactly this) the book is a modern echo of Kierkegaard's "Either-Or"- seeing the point of view of both the wicked seducer and that of the prosecuting judge. What many people see as the greatness of the novel is that it allows empathy with Humbert while condemning him at the same time.
The lede of the article certainly doesn't need to be pro-Humbert. The lede must certainly establish that the novel sets up Humbert as an "unreliable narrator", and should certainly establish that his actions do indeed break very specific laws, while also establishing that Humbert tries to portray himself in a favorable light (albeit in the eyes of the majority of readers with at most only intermittent and faltering success). At the same time, the opening lede of the article should NOT engage in an all-out character attack on Humbert or appeal to the reader's sense of moral outrage. In a trial, that's called a "prejudicial" argument. To continue with User:Uruiamme's legal analogy, the lede is where you present "opening arguments", not the place for the jury's verdict. As such, all the material User:Uruiamme tried to add properly belongs (couched and referenced appropriately) in the "Reception" section of the Wikipedia article, not in the article lede.
In short, Uruiamme, if you want to see Humbert condemned, don't set yourself up for a verdict of mistrial. Mistrials have been known to occur due to attorneys engaging in inappropriately prejudicial arguments (opening of closing), which in a courtroom an opening statement such as your modification of the lede here would, I think, qualify.
Oh, and BTW, isn't Huck Finn a story about Huck growing and maturing out of his inherited racism, a racism he engages in mainly (and almost solely) because he was raised to be racist? Comparisons with HF seem particularly out of place here!--WickerGuy (talk) 18:18, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
I've done my own expansion to the lede that I think is more judicious.
Rather than compare this story to Huck Finn, I think a much more appropriate comparison would be to the Hannibal Lecter stories, the film Bonnie and Clyde or the Mafia sagas The Godfather and The Sopranos, or the heroin dealer in Spike Lee's 25th Hour. These are all "sympathy for the devil" stories. We know what these people do is wrong, and yet we are utterly charmed by them. Huck Finn is just spouting off stuff he learned from his elders, and acting entirely without malice. Comparisons with Finn strike me as utterly unilluminating and out of place.--WickerGuy (talk) 18:49, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
2nd addendum
In effect, my own additions to the lede of the article show a direct passage in the book in which Humbert effectively condemns himself out of his own mouth near the end of the novel. (He ultimately failed to convince himself.) This is preferable to the character attack in the earlier revision of the lede by User:Uruiamme.
I remain puzzled by the appeal to Huck Finn. Humbert is trying to defend himself against society by claiming he is misunderstood but engages in a lot of rationalization and self-deception. Huck Finn is largely not very self-aware and is simply slowly awakening to realize racism is wrong! I can't see any point of comparison between these two narratives whatsoever.--WickerGuy (talk) 21:50, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Controversy over category[edit]

  • Don't add a category that doesn't exist on Wikipedia

When I added that category tag, I didn't realize the category had been deleted. --Uncle Ed (talk) 01:33, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Significant vs. False Pop Culture ref[edit]

Occasionally, pop culture refs of Lolita have been removed from this page, because they seemed to lack a sufficiently broad cultural significance in and of themselves, and occasionally I have fought to include refs in this article that others deemed unworthy. But the attempted IP addition from a week and a half ago from the very recent Lana del Rey album is just plain false. There is no song on the album called "Lolita" and the lyrics to "Off to the Races" have nothing, repeat, nothing at all at all at all to do with this book. As they say in the game room, "Nice try".--WickerGuy (talk) 17:20, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Odd text someone is insisting on[edit]

For some reason, someone is insisting on the first sentence in the "Erotic motifs and controversy" section should read "Lolita is frequently described as an 'erotic novel', not only by some critics but even in Facts on File: Companion to the American Short Story.. This doesn't make a lot of sense. It makes it sound as if there's something special about it being called that in Facts on File ("even" in Facts on File); what so important about the Facts on File mention, as opposed to, I dunno, the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, Desmond Morris, and the other citations in that first paragraph? If anything, the facts on file thing belongs at the end; as it stands now, it seems like a high school book report. --jpgordon::==( o ) 06:13, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Actually, I agree it could be moved to later in paragraph, and the "even" is a bit weird!!! Something in the main body of the text should make clear just what the (perfectly OK) provenance of "Facts on File" actually is. To someone who doesn't know, it could sound like some sort of book of trivia lists rather than the rather genuine (if not outstanding) scholarly reference work that in fact it is. So by all means, remove the "even", possibly shift the reference to elsewhere in the paragraph, and explain in the main body that FoF is a fairly reputable series of reference works about literature. (See Infobase Publishing for just a tad more, though not much more info.) It is a legitimate source, and its definitely worth noting that both critics AND a standard reference work label Lolita as an "erotic novel" Your original edit simply removing it read in your edit sum "What is even remotely notable about a "Facts on File" reference book"? Well, it is certainly somewhat notable, if not as notable as Desmond Morris. The "even" however, makes it sound even MORE notable than Morris, and I fully agree with you that is really sophomoric or high-schoolish. So I would leave it in, but downgrade its significance a bit in some way. Cheers,--WickerGuy (talk) 07:01, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

OK, please explain what is wrong with new link?[edit]

Another user uploaded a link to a lecture given by a literature professor on YouTube, and it has been deleted as not following WP policy. I restored it on Round 1 on the grounds that it was uploaded to YouTube by the copyright owner. Now it has been removed with appeal to WP:ELNO. Somebody care to say which stipulation of ELNO is being violated here?--WickerGuy (talk) 21:27, 3 October 2012 (UTC)


I have merged the list of characters back to the main article, as it was an unreferenced stub, and having it separate meant slightly fewer people will actually see the list, as opposed to it being here. I am neutral on whether the characters deserve their own section, having done little editing of such literary works, but i do know it belongs here for now, at least until it can be sourced and expanded. I respect the motives of the editor(s) making this bold move, but disagree strongly with the actual effect of separating the list out. I do agree that Humbert and Lolita may even deserve their own pages.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 05:33, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Zina Mertz's age[edit]

Regarding this paragraph:

"In chapter three of the novel The Gift (written in Russian in 1935–1937) the similar gist of Lolita's first chapter is outlined to the protagonist, Fyodor Cherdyntsev, by his obnoxious landlord Shchyogolev as an idea of a novel he would write 'if I only had the time': A man marries a widow only to gain access to her young daughter, who resists all his passes. Shchyogolev says it happened 'in reality' to a friend of his; it is made clear to the reader that it concerns himself and his stepdaughter Zina (15 at the time of marriage) who becomes the love of Fyodor's life and his child bride."

Should Zina Mertz be referred to as Fyodor's child bride? She was 15 when Shchyogolev married her mother, but I thought the marriage had gone on for a few years when Zina and Fyodor met.

-- (talk) 00:39, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

You are correct; Zina was a child of 15 when her mother married, not herself a child bride. A Georgian (talk) 00:53, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

"Use British English"?[edit]

How is this justifiable? As a book written and set in the US by a long-term US resident in American English, how is that not violation of MOS:TIES? Curly Turkey (gobble) 01:44, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Hadn't noticed that and agree it should probably not be British English. It was probably originally written that way and it has been kept consistent since. --John (User:Jwy/talk) 18:39, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
No, it was originally written in American English and changed by a script assisted edit in February 2013. I've contacted the editor and requested that he undo the ENGVAR change by running the script again. oknazevad (talk) 23:35, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
Looking at it now, it seems like a mistake, and I'm wondering how I came to the erroneous conclusion. Anyway, I've manually reversed the spellings that were originally affected – there is no equivalent script to turn spellings into American. -- Ohc ¡digame! 02:00, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps you saw Nabokov interviewed. He didn't sound very American. Rothorpe (talk) 02:30, 9 May 2014 (UTC)


Nabokov wrote an afterword in 1956 that first appeared in the American edition ... which didn't appear until 1958? Curly Turkey ⚞gobble!⚟ 08:12, 18 May 2014 (UTC)


Under plot the original editor writes "Instead, she initiates sex the next morning". Yet under style and interpretation he writes that Humbert is ashamed of his rape of Lolita. Rape is a link to the definition of rape which is forced sex without consent. I don't see how it can be rape if she initiated the sex. Whoever wrote this article can you please explain? Robotics1 23:43, 4 August 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robotics1 (talkcontribs)

See under "statutory rape"

not signed?

Yes but there is a difference between statutory rape which is defined in some countries laws (but not all) and rape in this context. What is more the word rape in this article is a link to the wiki definition of rape, not statutory rape, and that is defined as forced sex, which it was not. Whoever wrote this article should change the word rape to statutory rape and change the link or else not use the word rape at all. It's a shame that such an important article is so inaccurate on this point. It left me as a reader re-reading the article to see what I missed and I am sure I am not alone. Can someone please clean this up? Robotics1 08:20, 6 August 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robotics1 (talkcontribs)


I get that this isnt considered pornography, but i want to point out that the work has been featured at the Portal:Pornography for years now. if its ok to have it there w/o it being tagged by the project, thats fine with me, though i myself an am inclusionist with projects, this isnt my turf really, so i will gladly bow to others. if anyone feels it should be removed from that portal, im ok with that too, as its a really horribly dead portal, and a change of scenery is in order. just tell me and ill swap in another work of erotic literature there.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 04:25, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

I don't see it there currently. Either way, Lolita isn't really porn or erotica, in that it isn't meant to arouse. Indeed, the purpose is explicitly repulsion at Humbert's actions. As such, it's a miscategorization at best. oknazevad (talk) 05:32, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Lolita's riddle[edit]

Hello. It is well-known that Vladimir Nabokov devised a riddle that he embedded in "Lolita" (e.g. a Playboy interview of 1964 among others: (about "Lolita") "She was like the composition of a beautiful puzzle—its composition and its solution at the same time, since one is a mirror view of the other, depending on the way you look") that scholars tried to solve since then (there are many papers on the subject, some directly freely available on the web).

1/ I think this wikipedia article should at least mention it.

2/ I think I have solved this riddle, and I'd like, if it's possible, to add a link to the blog where I have gathered a raw sketchy demonstration about this (several Nabokovian scholars that I contacted did respond positively about it). In order to have yourself an opinion about this claim, you can go there:

When the key to the riddle is known, even the slightest details can reveal something (e.g. The allusion to an affair between Mona and Roy is explained, and we can even know why he is named Roy in the first place).

Waggg (talk) 11:32, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

There are two periodicals to which you might submit an article presenting your putative solution: The Nabokovian and Nabokov Online Journal. If this appears in a reputable journal, then an independent editor might contribute a mention of it to the article here. Or of course if your exposition in your blog entry attracts favorable published mentions by independent scholars. -- Hoary (talk) 12:31, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for your informations. I don't have the level to publish an article in English.
Anyway, I didn't really expect you to accept to put the link on this page, I just had to try.
But my first remark stands. Shouldn't the fact that there is a riddle embedded in "Lolita" (a fact that no scholar would dispute as far as I know) mentionned?
Waggg (talk) 14:14, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
A cite to a foreign language source MIGHT be accepted; it's worth a try. A Georgian (talk) 14:49, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Hello. In this context, I think it can be interesting to mention he said in an interview in 1962 for the BBC when asked on why he wrote “Lolita”: « I’ve no general ideas to exploit, I just like composing riddles with elegant solutions.Waggg (talk) 08:33, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

No answer? I guess it means "Go ahead!".
I'd like to put the sentence in the "estimation" section.
And I'd like to add this as a comment between parenthesises regarding this excerpt ("She was like the composition of a beautiful puzzle—its composition and its solution at the same time, since one is a mirror view of the other, depending on the way you look."): "It has been noticed that there are instances of reflexion in "Lolita", for instance Trapp/Pratt, Melanie Weissman/Blanche Schwarzman (etymologically respectively black/white and white/black) and widow Haze / widow Hays. The references slightly different can be counted in that category (e.g. Parkington/Tarkington (a reference to Booth Tarkington, also hinted in the Alice Adams mentionned by humbert and that is part of the classmates of Lolita in Beardsley))".
Is that OK? I somehow believe this will not be accepted. Waggg (talk) 09:48, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
It will not, because it isn't published in reliable, third-party sources first. You cannot just add your own interpretation to an article. That is original research and strictly forbidden. Please do not add. oknazevad (talk) 20:06, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
OK, I won't add it. don't worry I expected this. It makes sense. But you didn't explicitly answered to the "in an interview in 1962 for the BBC when asked on why he wrote “Lolita”: « I’ve no general ideas to exploit, I just like composing riddles with elegant solutions.” part. This is both a Nabokovg quote and said in the context of the description making of "Lolita" (even if it has a more general range). It also says something of the author's writing process with his own words. Is there something wrong with this quote in the context of this wiki page? Waggg (talk) 08:56, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
What you have to do is find that insight published (Secondary Source; I believe that Find What The Sailor Has Hidden by Myers treats that theme.

Book covers[edit]

Though the article provides an external link to website showing several later-edition bookcovers of Lolita, it is missing any discussion of the topic. Even without specifically looking for them, I have come across numerous articles on the subject over the years (eg this New Yorker post). And there is even a book dedicated to the subject:

John Bertram; Yuri Leving (16 August 2013). Lolita - The Story of a Cover Girl: Vladimir Nabokov's Novel in Art and Design. F+W Media. ISBN 978-1-4403-2986-9. 

Here is a review of that work. Peter Mendelsund also has a chapter on Lolita in

Peter Mendelsund (August 2014). Cover. powerHouse Cultural Entertainment, Incorporated. pp. 54–59. ISBN 978-1-57687-667-1. 

Could some interested editor expand the article to cover this? Images of a couple of iconic bookcovers would also be helpful (and justifiable under WP:NFCC), but that is a secondary concern. Abecedare (talk) 18:49, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

money gift to pregnant Dolores Schiller[edit]

Towards the end of the plot summary, there is this sentence: "He gives her a large sum of money anyway, which secures her future."

This is incorrect. He does give her a large sum of money, but she dies soon afterwards, in chidbirth. The money may have been intended to secure her future, and it was much more than she had anticipated from him, but it did not secure her future.

Correction in the plot[edit]

I have removed the mention of Humbert having a "close call with the police" because it simply isn't true (he just happens to stumble upon a relative of the young girl who maintains he is a former police officer), and I also have obliterated the reference to the bag full of toys bought by Humbert for the McCoo girl: none of this is mentioned in the novel. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:17, 14 December 2015 (UTC)

Lolita (the novel) vs Lolita fashion[edit]

The current term Lolita also refers to people (usually women but sometimes men) who dress in Japanese lolita fashion. I read the previous discussion about moving Lolita to Lolita (novel). Some comments referred to the number of searches/hits as the reason not to move it. However, since the word lolita also refers to those who do lolita fashion, the search results include results for both and no way to distinguish them. However, there is a need to distinguish the two. My previous edits to the Lolita page to address this were reverted multiple times. I request the page be moved to clarify it is the novel, with the main page having links to both Lolita (novel) and Lolita fashion, and edits to the Lolita (original or the novel) page should be allowed. Many 'lolitas' in the fashion industry have to deal with unwarranted sexual harassment directly due to this novel. It would be the responsible thing to add this clarifying information since the novel is the source of this behavior. When a Google search is done for "lolita", the second search result is "Lolita fashion." Therefore, this is not a trivial matter buried in minute details. The editor who reverted my changes did not want to consider my point of view or the information I provided and threatened me with spam, promoting Lolita fashion and vandalism and threatened to revoke my editing privileges. I hope I get with a more objective response. As a global encyclopedia, clarifying misinformation is in guidelines with Wiki's mission. If neither of my two suggestions are acceptable, I am looking for additional ideas to help with this or a clear directive that my edits were policy violation. Jalauna1 (talk) 15:36, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

The logic for the number of searches involves a comparison of the number of hits this page gets (6 digit numbers) vs the disambiguation page (4 digits) (numbers based on 2010 numbers as the server providing the stats seems to be having trouble). This means of the 119,000 people that got to this page, less than 2000 went to the disambiguation page because this is not what they wanted to see. Pretty overwhelming numbers. --John (User:Jwy/talk) 15:58, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for that clarification. Are you providing extra information or stating you disagree with both options being requested based on that one data point? Jalauna1 (talk) 23:19, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

Mostly the first. But if I were to weigh in, I'm afraid I would not support you. I also believe most seasoned editors would politely disagree with you as well. --John (User:Jwy/talk) 06:39, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
Also beware of WP:3RR. --John (User:Jwy/talk) 06:41, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

Nafisi's book[edit]

Never mind. I misremembered. There was a book group, but she also taught a literature course in pre-revolutionary Iran to female and male college students.Ileanadu (talk) 18:06, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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