When Lolita was first published in 1955 it created a sensation and established Nabokov as one of the most original prose writers of the twentieth century. This annotated edition, a revised and considerably expanded version of the 1970 edition, does full justice to the textual riches of Lolita, illuminating the elaborate verbal textures and showing how they contribute to the novel's overall meaning. Alfred Appel, Jr. also provides fresh observations on the novel's artifice, games and verbal patternings and a delightful biographical vignette of Nabokov. The annotations themselves were prepared in consultation with Nabokov while newly identified allusions were confirmed by him during the final years of his life.
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In 1954 Vladimir Nabokov asked one American publisher to consider "a firebomb that I have just finished putting together." The explosive device: Lolita, his morality play about a middle-aged European's obsession with a 12-year-old American girl. Two years later, the New York Times called it "great art." Other reviewers staked a higher moral ground (the editor of the London Sunday Express declaring it "the filthiest book I've ever read"). Since then, the sinuous novel has never ceased to astound. Even Nabokov was astonished by its place in the popular imagination. One biographer writes that "he was quite shocked when a little girl of eight or nine came to his door for candy on Halloween, dressed up by her parents as Lolita." And when it came time to casting the film, Nabokov declared, "Let them find a dwarfess!"
The character Lolita's power now exists almost separately from the endlessly inventive novel. If only it were read as often as it is alluded to. Alfred Appel Jr., editor of the annotated edition, has appended some 900 notes, an exhaustive, good-humored introduction, and a recent preface in which he admits that the "reader familiar with Lolita can approach the apparatus as a separate unit, but the perspicacious student who keeps turning back and forth from text to Notes risks vertigo." No matter. The notes range from translations to the anatomical to the complex textual. Appel is also happy to point out the Great Punster's supposedly unintended word play: he defends the phrase "Beaver Eaters" as "a portmanteau of 'Beefeaters' (the yeoman of the British royal guard) and their beaver hats."From the Back Cover:
"...the reader of Lolita attempts to arrive at some sense of its overall 'meaning,' while at the same time having to struggle...with the difficulties posed by the recondite materials and rich, elaborate verbal textures. The main purpose of this edition is to solve such local problems and to show how they contribute to the total design of the novel."--From the Preface by Alfred Appel, Jr.
"Fascinatingly detailed."--Edmund Morris, The New York Times Book Review
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Book Description McGraw-Hill, 1970. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110141181133