Was ‘Lolita’ About Race? Nabokov’s Take on Race in the US (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Books stacked128The Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) explores racism and sexuality in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. Nabokov spent twenty years in the US and ultimately considered himself to be an American writer, despite his Russian roots.

The LARB questions his authority as an “important cultural critic of American life” due to his specificity of subject, mainly the “posh New England schools and the trivialities of white upper-middle class ennui.”

Yet through his novel, Nabokov explores how white men—even pedophiles—were observed with less scrutiny than black men, specifically relating to the Mann Act and sex crimes. Lolita also explores America’s fascination with racism through science, as well as the role racism plays in the country’s southern states. Read the review here.

Leave a Comment