‘Aesthetic Bliss’ and Its Allegorical Displacements in <i>Lolita</i>

Barbara Straumann

in Figurations of Exile in Hitchcock and Nabokov

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780748636464
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651894 | DOI:
‘Aesthetic Bliss’ and Its Allegorical Displacements in Lolita

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This chapter analyses Nabokov’s Lolita and the text’s antagonism between tragic sadness and flippant playfulness. It centres on three areas: the manner the narratorial and authorial levels combine on aesthetic language, the nostalgic tropes that characterise the childhood romance of Humbert, and the way the narrator relocates and dislocates himself in the textual process. The chapter also looks at how the novel’s aesthetic textuality wipes out referentiality through poetising both the self and the world.

Keywords: Lolita; antagonism; tragic sadness; playfulness; narratorial levels; authorial levels; nostalgic tropes; childhood romance; textual process; aesthetic textuality

Chapter.  18144 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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