Midway through last century, Lolita burst on the literary scene-a Russian exile's extraordinary gift to American letters and the New World. The scandal provoked by the novel's subject-the sexual passion of a middle-aged European for a twelve-year-old American girl-was quickly upstaged by the critical attention it received from readers, scholars, and critics around the world. This casebook gathers together an interview with Nabokov as well as nine critical essays. The essays follow a progression focusing first on textual and thematic features and then proceeding to broader issues and cultural implications, including the novel's relations to other works of literature and art and the movies adapted from it.
Ellen Pifer is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Delaware. She is a former president of the International Vladimir Nabokov Society and the author of Nabokov and the Novel.