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耶鲁大学开放课程:1945年后的的美国文学——之《洛丽塔》

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洛丽塔

2010-06-08 21:32

Zoe_innerpeace

Zoe_innerpeace

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共三个课时,Amy Hungerford一个人滔滔不绝,给学生提供阅读此书的不同角度(当然难免也包含一些主观色彩)。书是两年前看的,听完课才知道当初多么囫囵吞枣,完全配不上讲师讲课的深度,勾起了再次阅读的欲望,要把许多细节重新捡回来,回头再听一次。
Professor Amy Hungerford
先分享一个小point,关于故事的开头。

Let's just begin with that first chapter, the tiny chapter, Chapter 1. "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-li-ta. The tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap at three on the teeth: Lo-li-ta." The first thing he does is make us feel words in our bodies, and especially in the mouth and in the tongue, in that very sensuous way. So, that's the first thing that his style does for us: it makes us align ourselves--in the way that some of you were talking about earlier--not just to identify our minds with the point of view of this particular person, this particular character, but actually to move your body, and to feel something bodily that he wants you to feel, to share that sensuous experience with him. It's just the first little temptation. He wants to draw us into the "special experience" that he documents in his story:


She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita. Did she have a precursor? She did. Indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved one summer a certain initial girlchild in a princedom by the sea. Oh, when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs--the misinformed simple noble-winged seraphs--envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.

I'm seduced. Are you? He's feeding us questions. This is another thing to notice. He's not just making us experience Lolita's name the way he does; he's assuming that there are certain kinds of questions that we will ask. "Did she have a precursor?" Why is this the first question that you would ask? If someone was telling you this story, is that the first question you would ask? So did she have a precursor? No, probably not. Okay. Why? Why does he want to plant this question with us? Well, he's working towards something that he will also in some ways backhandedly discredit. He's counting on us to analyze him in somewhat Freudian terms. So, even though he will make a habit later on of playing with psychiatrists--staying at clinics extra weeks just to bother the newcomers by giving them made-up dreams and primal scenes to read and interpret--even though he's going to do that, he's still manipulating us, because he knows how deeply those kinds of exculpatory narratives run with his audience. So, she had a precursor. So what? Does that make any difference? Does that make any difference to how we're to judge him? And we are the judges: "ladies and gentlemen of the jury." We are, in a way, invited to judge, even though he's begging us not to at every moment.


So, it's a choice on Nabokov's part to foreground the question of judgment from moment one, and then for him to invoke multiple kinds of exculpatory narratives. He's planting them in there for us to find. "Oh, when?" In childhood. By safely locating that precursor in his own childhood when, as he says, he was her equal, where there was no crime, only a kind of infantile passion that nobody would blame him for, he invites us to think of Humbert as somehow still retaining a kind of innocent purity, that that passion itself is the innocent purity that flames at the heart of childhood. 



Ps:如果你跟我一样看过这本书,并仍然觉得纳博科夫的故事深得像个无底洞,那么这个课程也可以推荐给你,个人觉得非常inspiring~\(≧▽≦)/~(驴子上有资源)



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