Pour yourself a gin and pineapple - Humbert Humbert's favorite tipple - Lolita's 50. Which probably makes her more like 68, strictly speaking. Anyway, Nabokov's masterpiece has endured a half-century of controversy, banning,misinterpretation, cultural cooption, adaptation and dissection, and remains at the top of the canon, multilayered and artful. While "Lolita" has entered the lexicon as shorthand for a seductive nymphet, David Gates makes the point that "the book's title is an artful misdirection: it points not at its putative heroine, but at her representation in the narrator's mind. And while Humbert Humbert works hard to beguile his readers, he never seduced his creator; in one interview Nabokov called him "a vain and cruel wretch who manages to appear 'touching'." [Newsweek]
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