The narrator, Humbert, is real descriptive in his choice of child preference. It’s not just the way he describes them physically; but how he describes them to be irresistible nymphets, as they don’t realize their own “fantastic power”(17). They’re not the most attractive child the common eye would pick out. They’re just based upon the discovery of an “artist…a madman, a creature of infinite melancholy”(17); someone with a never ending mind cycle, whose thoughts just go on and on and on. Being “lone voyagers, we nympholepts, would have long gone insane”(17) if every girl-child were a nymphet. I believe nymphs were mythical creatures who seduced sailors, voyagers, into falling for them. They were beautiful creatures with beautiful gifts, such as singing, etc… In Lolita we see that the narrator falling for them every time; a time like at “pubescent park”(21).
I feel his choice of “nymphets” are based upon Annabel’s death, directing his belief on what could be“Lolita” being the incarnation of Annabel. This must be the cause of his lustful eye towards girl-children. Humbert states, “…[Annabel] haunted me ever since-until at last, twenty-four years later, I broke her spell by incarnating her in another”(15). He describes Annabel sort of like his soul mate, in whom every time they had a “tryst”(8) they were always interrupted. The link, that bond, that supposed consecration was always interrupted; and permanently interrupted by Annabel’s death. Humbert’s perfect girl, was in the form of Annabel in which he would always remember as a child.
Side Note: Lolita is a real dictionary defined book. The narrator(Humbert) comes from a English major background, so that must be the reason why.