Nabokov tries to explain his use of language from a modernist approach: language is complex , Humbert describes in great detail his feelings and thoughts, the struggle inside him between the “monster” and the “gentleman”.
The “nymphet” seen as a modernist feature is a form of art, as well as his love for her, which is not physical love but mainly a love for beauty and innocence.
There is a focus on the inner world, the world seen through his eyes. Humbert is a typical modern character: sensitive, an artist.
He tries to let the reader understand his mind, he is completely aware of his alienation with the world and he tries to separate and define the positive and the negative in him.
The novel is an innovation, beginning with the theme, treating another kind of love, a hidden love and an outcast. Humbert is the outcast type in the view of the society.
“A common motif in modernism is that of an alienated individual–a dysfunctional individual trying in vain to make sense of a predominantly urban and fragmented society”. (A.-ML)
” The existentialist ‘subject’ of modernity, is no longer a clearly defined individual, but a ‘schizophrenic’, multiple character.”(HKU).
Humbert is a complex character in a continuous attempt to prove himself as being a good person, to let the reader know that despite his hidden problems he is capable of reasoning and love.
For God So Loved the World Even though I was only a small child, I remember the cold, fall day that I accompanied my father to a nearby cemetery. As we stood above three tiny graves, I recall the tears streaming down my fathers face and the anguish in his eyes. My father was reluctant to explain why we were there for fear that I was just too young and innocent to understand the horrid ...
The beastly and the beauty, as he says, are two parts of himself, and throughout the novel he tries to draw this line between them but never succeeds because they are mixed into one: a deranged “father”, an insane ” lover”, evil and good blended forever.
The jury , since the reader knows Humbert is in jail as he is writing, can be the ones who will listen to his plea for murder, but can also be the actual reader, whom the narrator tries to convince of his lack of violence. The act of pedophilia is explained is detail from a subjective point of view, seen as harmless. The main character is convinced of the innocence of the act and is begging for the society to understand and accept such men.
The fragment is modernist from the point of view of the construction and purpose as well : the attempt to describe himself , the purpose of his writing – to give a definition of his strange passion, the deep self analysis as well as the analysis of Lolita from the point of view of a nymphet , are all features of modernism.
The word play – nymphet – from nymph – is a trait of postmodernism, as well as the fact that with this novel, Nabokov is not only experimenting with a new theme but also reaches the limit of decency and originality.
From the perspective of postmodernism, Humbert is an extreme character, marginalized by the society.
His attempts to explain, sometimes desperate, his behavior and attitudes towards children is a result of his wish to be accepted by the society. He sees pedophilia as normal as long as it does not ruin the innocence of a “nymphet”.
Then there is also his attempt to integrate art in his life , not only by his strange love affair but also by comparing himself to a poet – he will never kill – he only admires beauty and purity. He desperately tries to integrate himself in the normality with this plea, in a continuous battle hoping the reader will take his ideas and understand them.
Pedophilia is not necessarily an act of sex with Humbert; he sees the girl-child as a third sex, not man, not woman, but above.
With Nabokov’s novel, there is an attempt to discover and relate the inside of a man that is different ( from the point of view of the society rules), to romanticize that man and the bond between him and a “nymphet”.
What Brabourne has astutely perceived is not only Austen’s ability to tell extraordinary stories about ordinary people, but also her penchant of revealing, through her works, the various aspects of the nature and behaviour of men and women. Jane Austen is regarded as one of the leading novelists of her era. Some of her most notable works include Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Sense and Sensibility. ...