“I’m sorry, but there is no Dr. Neu.” (178) At this point I was really shocked. Not at the fact that she lied or anything, but at the possibility that Dr.Neu really might not exist. I felt like if Dr. Neu didn’t exist, then she was once again using an escape goat; her way of expressing what she feels. Instead of outright saying well I have this and that disease, she used a doctor figure, someone who is trust worthy and has credibility, to portray what she supposedly had, because then us a the readers would believe her more. Instead, Dr. Neu was just yet another of her lie. The doctor tells her “…therefore, you were only being true to yourself.” (202) I feel like this is Lauren trying to justify and come to terms with herself about her lying. Saying that she was not lying because she was simply expressing her personality, and at the end of the day she was being true to herself.
The whole alcoholics anonymous situation was very interesting to me. I feel like although we know that she was there for the attention that she got and the “welcome” (180) that she felt, there was a lot more to it. When she is giving her drunk-a-logue and she calls what she has a disease she connects this with her epilepsy. However, I feel like she meant that her true disease was the lies that she told. When she ‘relapses’ is when she once again goes back to lying even though there are certain instances when she wants to tell the truth ” I want to tell it as it really was and have them love me, ” (204) That quote to me expressed what most of the novel is about. Lauren just want to be loved and accepted and paid attention to in ways her mother and father never did. She feels as if the only way that she can receive this love and affection is by being different, by having epilepsy, by being a fake alcoholic, and by exaggerating the truths in her life. “I couldn’t think why in the world i should go to classes. They were all in the lecture halls and I was not noticed… no one though me special.” (172) Lauren is constantly needing the attention from all the people that surround her. In reality I think this is what she suffers from, lack of attention and love. Not epilepsy not TLE not Munchhausen, just simply loneliness.
I think that the afterword left me thinking about this novel and how it truly doesn’t matter if what she was saying is truth or not it only matter that this is her story and what she perceived as reality. She author tried to write this story and the only way that she can make us readers truly understand her perspective of her situation is through all the lies and the diseases. I really think that its interest how the author was able to write this memoir as a huge metaphor. I was really left of feeling her loneliness and it all felt like a crazy ride of up and down emotions and it didn’t matter if she was lying or not. If this is what the author was trying to accomplish then I believe she succeeded.
“I am toying with you, yes, but for a real reason. I am asking you to enter confusion with me, to give up the ground with me, because sometimes that frightening floaty place is really the truest of of all” (163) I feel like this what that the author was trying to convey through section three. She wanted us to feel the same confusion that she was feeling. This whole section to me felt like a very long, intimate, and disconnected section. We no longer see the attachment with her mother since she is hardly mentioned in this section. However, we see her striving for the love and attention of another. It’s like the narrator is trying to feel a void and emptiness inside of her. Through trying to pursue this “love” that she felt for Christopher she became convulsive. In her attitude and in her writing.
I felt a lot of confusion in this part. Not because i didn’t understand the text, but because I truly felt what the narrator was experiencing and going through. she doesn’t have any rea friends and she doesn’t have her mother or her father around, shes just going on with life. It all felt king of like a haze to me as I read. Which all lead to the confusion. Where is her mother? Why does she feel so careless? and what is with her obsession of pleasing and getting the approval on this older man. It also felt very wrong to read about their relationship since she was so young and he not so much. (reminded me of Lolita.)
“…but you will break ranks. Mark my words. You’ll break literary ranks” (124) Christopher tells this to Jean Lauren and I felt like it became true. The author really does break literary ranks when she publish Lying. Here we have a novel that might fall in between fiction and non-fiction, a novel that uses a metaphorical memoir to convey what she actually feels inside. I feel like whether the a actual events are true or not do not matter. What matters is what a specific person experienced in a specif moment, it might not match reality. However because the person experienced it, it has some truth behind it.
“I have neither Munchausen’s nor epilepsy….fell in love with tall tales” (161) I felt like this one section right here felt like the truth as appose to the other possibilities the author laid out. I just think its so interesting how she acknowledges the fact that she is writing Lying through out the novel. How she can differentiate herself as a narrator. but at the same time create a connection between the narration and the author. “I talked about wanting to someday write a whole book about my epilepsy and my surgery, a book called Lying” (119) Here she connected the narrator from the story line with the author. However, this novel trully is not about her epilepsy or her lying, even though that what she talks the most about. The lying and epilepsy is her way of conveying her real message. One which im still trying to figure out.
There was a lot to take in from this section. I got a little confused because I was’t too sure in what order the story was being told, I felt like she jumped around a lot. I noticed the use of metafiction in this section. The specially in page 58 when the author pretty much stops telling her story and thanks the people who helped her write the novel. I though that was interesting. At this point it gets confusing to me because I don’t know whether to view the narrator as the author or as individual character. “This is a work or non-fiction. Everything in it is supposed to be true…” (60) The author literally steps out and explains to us that everything she said in regards to her falling into the grave was not true. In a way I was glad that she did do this, it gave me a sense as to what extent her exaggerations where willing to go. She also dedicates a letter to the reader, in this letter she is speaking as the narrator, but since she is addressing the readers, is this really the narrator. Seems to be a thin line that differentiates the two. I feel like through out the rest of the novel there is going to be a lot of merging of the two.
While I was reading I was also getting very upset because of the way the mother acts with her daughter. I really don’t feel like she is giving Lauren the love and attention that she is pretty much yearning for. I also noticed that when Lauren is down her mother feels up, and when Lauren comes back from the school and shes happy, her mother is all of a sudden “gotten weaker” (55) Her mother comes of has harsh and unloving towards her daughter who at these times seems to be needing her mother. ” And I felt comfort come from a place where i had never even sough it, not from my mother, but from this man, ” (39) Here she is implying that she has been trying to sough out her mothers attention, and it felt touching that her father was able to provide her with that comfort. As complex as Lauren may sound, we are aware of everything that she is thinking and everything that triggers her emotions. However the mother still remains a character of mystery to me, and her motives are still very unclear to me.
In the introduction we are asked to have an open mind when reading the novel and that it what I set my mentally to when I began the story.
Chapter 1 consists of two words, “I exaggerate.” (3) Already the narrator is implying that we should question their reliability in regards to what she says. It’s also kind of ironic that she is stating that she exaggerates yet uses two simple and straight forward words to do so. It kind of comes of as a warning, like we cannot proceed reading until we are made aware of her exaggerations.Through the first section there are several instances where the narrator comes of a lying. “I have Epilepsy. Or I feel I have epilepsy.” (6) At this point I was wondering alright well does the narrator have it or not. We also see her exaggeration take place when she describes her mother and father, “my father even smaller, so he was the size of a freckle, she higher than a house,” (5) She uses a metaphor instead of a simile to compare the two. We know that those statement cannot be true.However for some reason it doesn’t feel like a comparison more like that is what solemnly saw and believes. She states “just for the sake of the story let’s say she even licked her lips a little bit.” (22) This makes me wonder, will the narrator always give me a heads up when she is saying something “just for the sake of it” and am I going to have to sit and decipher as to what is a lie and what is reality. Something which I doubt it’ll succeed in being that one of her many symptoms of epilepsy is sigh and smell distortions.
I’m also trying to figure out what role Anita (Lauren’s mother) plays in the novel. I am well aware that she has power and authority over what happens. “She was such a big women with a big voice” (17) When Lauren felt like she couldn’t see, all that was needed were her mothers words telling her she was wrong and she could truly see, for her to obtain her sigh back. I keep getting the feeling that Anita is unhappy in her marriage. When Lauren sneaks a peak into the bedroom she sees how boring her parents are when they sleep. Anita also makes a notation while they are sitting eating dinner at the hotel. “‘A man should have thunder,’ she said, glaceing at my father” (17) I also keep getting the feeling that Lauren feels this need to want to please her mother and be important to her. I cannot figure out whether Anita as a mother is loving or not, her actions contradict each other. I also noticed that Lauren might get her exaggeration and lying from her mother. Either way the idea of her is an interesting topic that I will be following along the novel.
Hey guys, here is a link to a pdf version of Lolita. If you press (ctrl+f) your can type in certain phrases or words and it will highlight all the sections in the novel where it was mentioned. It makes it easier when trying to find quotes to support your arguments as appose to flipping through pages and pages. The pdf file pages and the novel don’t exactly match up, but once you know where it is in the pdf file you can easily find it in the novel being that its word for word. It’s been a great help to me, so though I should share it.
“I felt suffocated as he rolled over me. I rolled over him. We rolled over us. They rolled over him.” (299)
I found this specific quote quite interesting. It seems as of HH and Quilty have figuratively become one in this rolling process and it makes you wonder, well how different are the two really. HH has played the “willy wizard” in this novel and Lolita his prey. Yet at one point, Humbert becomes the prey and Quilty the hunter. “The necessity of being constantly on the lookout for the little moustache and open shirt.” (228) states HH. Which makes him feel like the one being chased. And it seems to be that they change positions quite often. HH then being hunting down Quilty. He figures out all the differnt names that Quilty has used to stay in hotels. Once again we see their similarities here. HH plays with words,while Quilty plays with names. And we cant avoid the obvious fact that they are both into younger girls. As where Quilty likes to make sexual tapes of the, Humbert is on the other end actually enjoying the touch and sexual pleasures that they provide. Yet i find it ironic that HH wants to kill Quilty ” because you took advantage of my inner essential innocence, because you cheated me,” (300) as he makes Quilty confess, Yet HH did the same to Lolita. They are both in the wrong doing, not saying they deserve to die, but it why should HH punish Quilty with out punishing himself. Maybe in some sort of way that was HH’s way of punishing himself, through killing someone who resembled him so.
I would also like to mention that towards the end of section two, I began to rethink whether HH trully loved Lolita. I began to feel that maybe he did. In this section I felt like we see a different side of HH. Something that made me feel weirdly warm inside. When he came to her house and was rejected by her, I expected with to shoot her right there. However he gives her money and lets her live her life. The fact that he was willing to marry her and raise the child as his own kind of made me feel sorry for him that he was rejected. He came off as someone simply screaming for love and affection, but from that one special girl. He still feels love and sees her inner beauty, even though ! she has left the nymphet stage. “I insist the world know I love my Lolita, this Lolita…,” (278) he states. I also expected him to be grossed out by her and new pregnant state. Also towards the end he wishes her the best in life and actually gives her advice. “Don’t talk to strangers, I hope you will love your baby…” (309) Making it evident that maybe HH trully cared for her and her well being. Although I temporarily felt sympathy for him, it still is not enough to cancel out the fact that he took advantage of a young girls innocence.
There were a couple of things that stood out the most to me when reading part 2 of the novel. First when Lolita and Humbert are going all across the states, he start noticing things about her such stating “when she chose, could be a most exasperating brat……little girl” (#148) this passage had me a little amazed being as HH was so deep under her nymphet spell to ever notice the things that Mrs. haze had so clearly wined about almost daily. He himself states” Charlotte, I began to understand you!” (#149) Also, on page 153 entire paragraph two , HH starts to see how different Lolita’s views of something was from his. He would notice the beauties of nature, while Lolita would simply be amazed by roadway signs. Later on he states that nobody could ever surpass Lolita and her nymphet beauty but then states ” if they did, it was so two or three times at the most.” (#161) At this point I’m wondering if maybe HH’s feelings towards Lolita might eventually change into something that isn’t so repulsive to someone. However, it still becomes evident later on that HH is still fighting for the attention and love of Lolita by trying to give her what ever she pleases, just so that she can caress him, laugh with him, and please him in different ways. At this point i feel like the novel reaches a even bigger level of grotesqueness. I feel like HH had fallen into the role of a father. So now instead of thinking that a young girl and an older man are engaging in sexual relations, we have to think of a father and his daughter doing these things. He moves into a house to give her a routine and school to actually go to, he reads book such as “know your own daughter” and reads blogs in regards to teenage girls and their interactions with other young man, he sets rules for her, and restricts her from doing certain things. He comes of as a concerned father however, HH always has an ulterior motive and this strong hold he begins to have on her could possibly be because he is scared that she might leave his side, I mean she is only one year away from actually leaving the nymphet stage.
So through about the novel, for some reason, I’ve stayed thinking that when HH finally got to sleep with a nymphet he was going to have this mystical experience. That he was going to be so relieved, and happy, satisfied that he was finally able to release all his desires for a true nymphet, and I though the fact that she was willingly doing it would add to this state of happiness. However, I really did not feel that from HH after it happened. Although it’s not a scene that I want to sit down and read, from HH I expected at least a description of an allusion that can compare to the moment. Yet he states “But these are irrelevant matters, I am not concerned with so called “sex” at all. Anybody can imagine those elements of animality” (#134) So I just stopped like, wait a second, he finally has Lolita, and he describes sexual intercourse with her as sex, and nothing else. Then he decides to omit the details. I guess because its easier to say sex, because everyone engages in it, then to put a hardcore image in the readers mind of a 12 year old girl and a older man, this would make HH seem disgusting and the “jury” will no longer be on his side. I guess this is another form of his manipulation. He also says “A greater endeavor lures me on; to fix one and for all the perilous magic of nymphets.” (134) I pondered on this for a moment and it confuses me. Maybe he’s trying to find a way out of what he feels since he’s so aware that its wrong. He later state “I am trying to…..Why?” (#135) This passage here describes how he wants to fix that line that separates nymphet love from either being hell or heaven as a pose to actually getting rid of the nymphet. Later on he calls Lolita “the body of some immortal demon disguised as a female child” (#139) He’s constantly making connections to hell when it comes to Lolita and feelings for her. Overall I was shocked at how easily he threw in the text that he had sex with Lolita as appose to making it this big romantic gesture of the innocent nymphet lured and captured by the skilled hunter.
We finally get to meet Lolita, and I feel like the way it all happened and some subsequent events brings up the topic of fate. I knew Lolita was going to get introduced soon and when I read that HH was going to live with the Mccoos, AND they had a 12 year old daughter, I really felt like Lolita was going to be that daughter. However, what are the chances that this man’s house “has burned down” (#35.) So HH must find new accommodations. (Very unexpected) Then we learn that someone else was suppose to be occupying the room that HH is residing in at rs.Haze’s but “Miss Phalen broke her hip in Savannah, GA., on the very day I arrived in Ramsdale.” (#56) (REALLY NOW) Then finally when Mrs.Haze finds out about all of HH’s schemes and wants to end everything and all of HH’s hopes with Lolita, she gets murdered?! (#97) Now this to me is simply insane how is it that something that is so repulsive to society can be so acceptable by “fate.” I feel like fate is easily clearing his path so that he can proceed with his wrong doings and it’s simply confusing.
Then there is this whole Our Glass Lake, which HH figures out is actually spelled “Hourglass Lake”(#81) I feel like this is a representation of how time is interfering with HH’s fate. They were supposed to go to this lake so many times, but something always happened. Like a blockage. When they finally get to go HH doesn’t get to spend the time he wants with Lolita because of an interfere. Time also occurs against his fate because Lolita , within two years, will be leaving the nymphet stage and he wants to be able to take advantage of that, I believe HH wished that time didn’t have an effect on Lolita because of this reason.
In section 12 HH states ” It would have been logical on the part of Aubrey Mcfate…” (#56) Now looking back at page 52, this is actually one of the names in the student list from Lolita’s classroom. But the way that HH uses it in this specific instance confuses me. It seems like Aubrey Mcfate is not actually a student. If it is not, then I feel like this is HH’s awareness of fate playing in the most unexpected ways, and in that specific instance he is calling on fate to fix his dilemmas, even though we’re all aware that that’s not how it works.
I feel like this is something that is going to keep occurring over and over again through out the novel being that there are so many instances within a short period of the story.
From the start of the novel, the narrator (Humbert) lets us know about his “francy prose style” (#9) Through out the first section I noticed that Humbert likes to play with words. Specially when he is trying to say Lolita’s name, breaking it up into syllables. I though this would be some information to hold onto thorough out the novel so that I could better understand him as a character.
In the first section Humber identifies himself as a murderer and addresses the readers as “ladies and gentlemen of the jury” (#9). I feel like at this point Humbert is stating that we are going to start judgement on him because of everything he is about to write in regards to his life and Lolita. I feel like through sections 1-4 Humbert is trying to convince or put forth that he had a very normal upbringing, “happy, wealthy child in a bright world” (#10) The introduction of Annabelle in section 3 just increases to his innocence as a young man. Trying to suppress the “paroxysm of desire” (#12) and then having to deal with his first love dying four months later. I felt some sympathy for him at this point. Which might be something he wanted the reader to feel. His mother dies when he is three, “picnic, lightning” (#10) as be blandly describes, Annabelle dies, and his governess (aunt) dies. He also talks about being exposed to the sexual world at the age of 13 through some movies and pictures. So I feel at this point the reader is just asking okay, what happened to this child that made him into the murderer that he is presenting himself as today. He tends to express himself as someone who was always loved by the people in his surroundings which i found relates to him knowing that he is being judged. He was loved by the workers in his father hotel, by the schools kids, and by women when he got older.
I also noticed how Humbert when playing with worlds uses relations to mythical and fairy tale things. The biggest example being the creation of the term “nymphet” (#18) when i looked up the world nymp it states that it is a mythological creature. But then it also gives Humbert’s definition which i found interesting. His play with words eventually gave an English world his personalized meaning and then through out the reading he says things such as being under a “spell” when talking about Annabelle’s love. He also makes reference to “enchanted island of time” (#18) and to the goddess “voluptas” (#21). There is also a relation with gardens that I noticed through out the reading. When he is first finding out about sexual things “decorous and purely theoretical decorous talk in the rose garden of the school” (#11), then when he was sneaking around with annabelle “after one wild attemp we made to meet t night in her garden” (#12), then later on he describes how he is at the park he states “ah, leave me alone in my pubescent park, my mossy garden” (#21) Maybe this just emphasizing that fairy tale land
This is really a difficult read I was glad I got to comprehend what was going on(ofcourse after reading it over like twice. But i suggest dictionary app right next to you as you read jotting down words you don’t know. I feel like its important to understand all of Hombert’s descriptions and choice of words so that we can better analyze what he is trying to get at with certain things.