I thought it superbly well written, intelligent, complex and engaging. Unfortunately, the plot began to depress me about two thirds of the way through and it got worse the further it progressed. I mean no disrespect to Nabokov, of course. Tragedies are perfectly legitimate and aren’t supposed to be enjoyable. (‘He broke her heart. I only broke her life.’) In short, what I read was a tragedy about different sorts of victim locked in a dolorous (no pun intended) dance to one form of destruction or another. (Note: I didn’t say innocent victim. Remember what Mandela said about the guards at Robben Island?)
And then I read what some New York literary professor said about it and felt a little irritated. It seemed to me that he had engaged Nearest Shibboleth Mode and come up with a view that was politically correct but ludicrously over-simplified. I thought of writing a long article myself, but decided against it because:
1. I can’t be bothered. I don’t have the mental energy for long articles at the moment.
2. Hardly anybody would ever read it, even if I published it here.
3. It would necessitate using the only word in the English language which I decline ever to use either verbally or in writing. And that includes now. Please don’t even try to guess, let alone ask.
So now it’s off to watch another episode of Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes. After the power of Lolita, a bit of easy listening is called for.