Notes and Quotes – Lolita (1955), Vladimir Nabakov

– Notes and Quotes –


Vladimir Nabakov (1899-1977)

Lolita (1955)


Humbert Humbert
Humbert, Humberg, Homberg, Hamburg, Humbird, Humberson, Hummerson
said high-and-dry Humbert to floundering Humbert
Professor Humbertoldi
San Humbertino
Jack Humbertson
“Otto Otto” “Mesmer Mesmer” “Lambert Lambert”

Wounded Spider
popular butcher



Part One:
“a salad of racial genes” (3)
“a little ghost in natural colors” (4)
“. . . I doubt if much individual genius should be assigned to our interest in the plurality of inhabited worlds, competitive tennis, infinity, solipsism and so on.” (5)
“I was on my knees, and on the point of possessing my darling, when two bearded bathers, the old man of the sea and his brother, came out of the sea with exclamations of ribald encouragement, and four months later she died of typhus in Corfu.” (5)
“She trembled and twitched as I kissed the corner of her parted lips and the hot lobe of her ear.” (6)
“I broke her spell by incarnating her in another.” (7)
“. . . where pale pubescent girls with matted eyelashes could be stared at in perfect impunity remindful of that granted one in dreams.” (7)
“Between the age limits of nine and fourteen there occur maidens who, to certain bewitched travelers, twice or many times older than they, reveal their true nature which is not human, but nymphic (that is, demoniac); and these chosen creatures I propose to designate as “nymphets.”” (7)
“A normal man given a group photograph of school girls or Girl Scouts and asked to point out the comeliest one will not necessarily choose the nymphet among them. You have to be an artist and a madman, a creature of infinite melancholy, with a bubble of hot poison in your loins and a super-voluptuous flame permanently aglow in your subtle spine (oh, how you have to cringe and hide!), in order to discern at once, by ineffable signs, the slightly feline outline of a cheekbone, the slenderness of a downy limb, and other indices which despair and shame and tears of tenderness forbid me to tabulate, the little deadly demon among the wholesome children; she stands unrecognized by them and unconscious herself of her fantastic power.” (8)
“. . . between maiden and man to enable the latter to come under a nymphet’s spell” (8)
“. . . and soon I found myself maturing amid a civilization which allows a man of twenty-five to court a girl of sixteen but not a girl of twelve.” (8)
“. . . routine rhythm which shakes the world.” (8)
“‘they were as different as mist and mast.’” (8-9)
“I could list a great number of these one-sided diminutive romances.” (10)
“dix-huit” (10)
“So let her remain, sleek, slender Monique, as she was for a minute or two: a delinquent nymphet shining through the matter-of-fact young whore.” (11)
“treating me for spells of dizziness and tachycardia” (12)
“I remember once handling an automatic belonging to a fellow student, in the days (I have not spoken of them, I think, but never mind) when I toyed with the idea of enjoying his little sister, a most diaphanous nymphet with a black hair bow, and then shooting myself.” (15)
“I sat with arms folded, one hip on the window sill, dying of hate and boredom.” (15)
“. . . photographs of sunshine-haired Girl Scouts in shorts . . .” (16)
“How the look of my dear love’s name even affixed to some old hag of an actress, still makes me rock with helpless pain!” (16)
“Oh, my Lolita, I have only words to play with!” (16)
“. . . mainly engaged in checking the influence of climatic amelioration on the coats of the arctic fox.” (17)
“Nymphets do not occur in polar regions.” (17)
“. . . spent a fantastic night on the train, imagining in all possible detail the enigmatic nymphet I would coach in French and fondle in Humbertish.” (18)
“. . . there was my Riviera love peering at me over dark glasses.” (20)
“. . . I saw again her lovely indrawn abdomen where my southbound mouth had briefly paused; and those puerile hips on which I had kissed the crenulated imprint left by the band of her shorts, that last mad immortal day behind the ‘Roches Roses.’” (21)
“. . . I passed by her in my adult disguise (a great big handsome hunk of movieland manhood)” (21)

“. . . I copied it out with obvious abbreviations in my smallest, most satanic, hand in the little black book just mentioned.” (21)
“. . . oh, marvelous: tender and tanned, not the least blemish.” (22)
“But nymphets do not have acne although they gorge themselves on rich food.” (22)
“The glistening tracery of down on her forearm.” (22)
“When she got up to take in the wash, I had a chance of adoring from afar the faded seat of her rolled-up jeans.” (22)
“. . . only a loving wife could decipher my microscopic script.” (22)
“There my beauty lay down on her stomach, showing me, showing the thousand eyes wide open in my eyed blood, her slightly raised shoulder blades, and the bloom along the incurvation of her spine, and the swellings of her tense narrow nates clothed in black, and the seaside of her schoolgirl thighs.” (23)
“I have all the characteristics which, according to writers on the sex interests of children, start the responses stirring in a little girl: clean-cut jaw, muscular hand, deep sonorous voice, broad shoulder. Moreover, I am said to resemble some crooner or actor chap on whom Lo has a crush.” (23)
“Prying her left eye open to get rid of a speck of something.” (23)
“‘Swiss peasant would use the top of her tongue.’ ‘Lick it out?’” (23)
“ne nontrez pas vos zhambes” (ne montrez pas vos jambes: do not show your legs) (24)
“But instead I am lanky, big-boned, wooly-chested Humbert Humbert, with thick black eyebrows and a queer accent, and a cesspoolful of rotting monsters behind his slow boyish smile. And neither is she the fragile child of a feminine novel.” (24)
“And what is most singular is that she, this Lolita, my Lolita, has individualized the writer’s ancient lust, so that above and over everything there is, Lolita.” (24)
“. . . my twelve-year-old flame in a voluptuous whisper . . .” (24)
“The muse of invention handed me a rifle and I shot a white bear who sat down and said: Ah!” (24)
“. . . caressed her plaything.” (25)
“I wanted to shout that I would stay on eternally if only I could hope to caress now and then my incipient pupil.” (25)
“I was already lying upon my cold bed both hands pressing to my face Lolita’s fragrant ghost . . .” (25)
Mr. Uterus: “The tiny madman in his padded cell.” (25)
“If and when you wish to sizzle me to death, remember that only a spell of insanity could ever give me the simple energy to be a brute . . .” (26)
“For some days already I had been leaving the door ajar, while I wrote in my room; but only today did the trap work.” (26)
“. . . they were the hideous hieroglyphics (which she could not decipher) of my fatal lust.” (26)
“Humbert the Hoarse put his arm around her in a miserable imitation of blood-relationship; and still studying, somewhat shortsightedly, the piece of paper she held, my innocent little visitor slowly sank to a half-sitting position upon my knee.” (26)
“. . . I felt the heat of her limbs through her rough tomboy clothes.” (26)
“Precocious pet!” (27)
“Ces matins gris si doux” (These gray mornings so sweet) (27)
“‘Choose your favorite seduction,’ she purred.” (27)
“‘Lo!’ . . . . ‘And behold,’ said Lo (not for the first time)” (27)
“. . . I held, and stroked, and squeezed that little hot paw, all the way to the store.” (28)
Dream: “Reality at this juncture withdrew, and the Quest for the Glasses turned into a quiet little orgy with a singularly knowing, cheerful, corrupt and compliant Lolita behaving as reason knew she could not possibly behave.” (30)
“. . . and toward her taut little rear I moved like some paralytic . . .” (30)
“‘. . . How I love this garden [no exclamation mark in her tone]. Isn’t it divine in the sun [no question mark either].” (30)

“I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and how to do it, without impinging on a child’s chastity; after all, I had had some experience in my life of pederosis; had visually possessed dappled nymphets in parks; had wedged my wary and bestial way into the hottest, most crowded corner of a city bus full of straphanging school children.” (31)
“The passion I had developed for that nymphet, for the first nymphet in my life that could be reached at last by my awkward, aching, timid claws, would have certainly landed me again in a sanatorium, had not the devil realized that I was to be granted some relief if he wanted to have me as a plaything for some time longer.” (31)
“. . . Miss Phalen who had already once had my Lo under her buzzard wing . . .” (31)

“I want my learned readers to participate in the scene I am about to replay; I want them to examine its every detail and see for themselves how careful, how chaste, the whole wine-sweet event is if viewed with what my lawyer has called, in a private talk we have had, “impartial sympathy.”” (32)
“Eden-red apple” (32)
“. . . the marbled flush of her palms.” (32)
“. . . her bare knees rubbed and knocked impatiently against each other” (33)
“. . . my masked lust to her guileless limbs.” (33)
“. . . all the while keeping a maniac’s inner eye on my distant golden goal . . .” (33)
“. . . the weight of two sunburnt legs, resting athwart my lap, and the hidden tumor of an unspeakable passion.” (33)
“Her legs twitched a little as they lay across my live lap; I stroked them; there she lolled in the right-hand corner, almost asprawl, Lola the bobby-soxer, devouring her immemorial fruit, singing through its juice, losing her slipper, rubbing the heel of her slipperless foot in its sloppy anklet, against the pile of old magazines heaped on my left on the sofa . . .” (33)
“. . . the sun was on her lips, and her lips were apparently still forming the words . . .” (34)
“. . . my happy hand crept up her sunny leg as far as the shadow of decency allowed.” (34)
“. . . there was, I swear, a yellowish-violet bruise on her lovely nymphet thigh which my huge hairy hand massaged and slowly enveloped, and because of her very perfunctory underthings, there seemed to be nothing to prevent my muscular thumb from reaching the hot hollow of her groin just as you might tickle and caress a giggling child . . .” (34)
“. . . I crushed out against her left buttock the last throb of the longest ecstasy man or monster had ever known.” (34)
“. . . neither Lo nor Hum knew yet what busybody Haze was plotting . . .” (34)

“I felt proud of myself. I had stolen the honey of a spasm without impairing the morals of a minor.” (35)
“Nurse that tooth.” (36)

Haze: “‘. . . the child throws a fit; pretext: you and I want to get rid of her; actual reason: I told her we would exchange tomorrow for plainer stuff some much too cute night things that she bullied me into buying for her. You see, she sees herself as a starlet; I see her as a sturdy, healthy, but decidedly homely kid. This, I guess, is at the root of our troubles.’” (37)
waylay Lo (37)
Hum and mum (37)
“Desperate, dying Humbert patted her clumsily on her coccyx, and she struck him, quite painfully, with one of the late Mr. Haze’s shoetrees.” (37)
“As greater authors than I have put it: ‘Let readers imagine’ etc.” (37)
“I knew I had fallen in love with Lolita forever; but I also knew she would not be forever Lolita. She would be thirteen on January 1. In two years or so she would cease being a nymphet and would turn into a “young girl,” and then, into a “college girl”, that horror of horrors.” (37)
“Two months of beauty, two months of tenderness, would be squandered forever, and I could do nothing about it, but nothing, mais rien.” (37)
“The motion of fate was resumed. The blond leg was pulled in, the car door was slammed, was re-slammed, and driver Haze at the violent wheel, rubber-red lips writhing in angry, inaudible speech, swung my darling away . . .” (38)
“The next instant I heard her, alive, unraped, clatter downstairs.” (38)

“. . . topping my automatic thanks with a kindly ‘you’re welcome,’ . . .” (38)
The letter: “This is a confession. I love you [so the letter began; and for a distorted moment I mistook its hysterical scrawl for a schoolgirl’s scribble].” (38)
“Please, please, leave at once, now, do not even read this absurd note to the end. Go. Adieu.” (38)
“Your old-world reticence, your sense of decorum may be shocked by the boldness of an American girl!” (39)
“There is just a chance that ‘the vortex of the toilet’ (where the letter did go) is my own matter-of-fact contribution. She probably begged me to make a special fire to consume it.” (39)
“Lo had drawn a jocose arrow to the haggard lover’s face and had put, in block letters: H.H.” (39)
“Under this was Lo’s chaste bed, littered with ‘comics.’” (39)
“Having convinced myself that Louise had left, I got into Lo’s bed and reread the letter.” (40)

“There may have been times, there must have been times, if I know my Humbert, when I had brought up for detached inspection the idea of marrying a mature widow (say, Charlotte Haze) with not one relative left in the wide gray world, merely in order to have my way with her child (Lo, Lola, Lolita).” (40)
“‘To hold thee lightly on a gentle knee and print on thy soft cheek a parent’s kiss…’ Well-read Humbert!” (40)
“I did not plan to marry poor Charlotte in order to eliminate her in some vulgar, gruesome and dangerous manner such as killing her by placing five bichloride-of-mercury tablets in her pre-prandial sherry or anything like that; but a delicately allied, pharmacopoeial thought did tinkle in my sonorous and clouded brain.” (40)
“Other visions of venery presented themselves to me swaying and smiling. I saw myself administering a powerful sleeping potion to both mother and daughter so as to fondle the latter though the night with perfect impunity.” (40)
“. . . the artist in me has been given the upper hand over the gentleman.” (41)
“. . . Mrs. Haze was to me but an obstacle.” (41)
“. . . a couple of hours at that camp had been sufficient to blot out with new impressions the image of handsome Humbert Humbert from little Lolita’s mind. But what did it matter now? I would get her back as soon as a decent amount of time after the wedding had elapsed. ‘The orange blossom would have scarcely withered on the grave,’ as a poet might have said. But I am no poet. I am only a very conscientious recorder.” (41)
“Again and again resourceful Humbert evoked Charlotte as seen in the raree-show of a manly imagination. She was well groomed and shapely, this I could say for her, and she was my Lolita’s big sister, this notion, perhaps, I could keep up if only I did not visualize too realistically her heavy hips, round knees, ripe bust, the coarse pink skin of her neck (“coarse” by comparison with silk and honey) and all the rest of that sorry and dull thing: a handsome woman.” (41)
“The prettier of the two little girls (Mabel, I think), shorts, halter with little to halt, bright hair, a nymphet . . .” (42)
“There was a smiling pause, and then, with a flutter in my breast, I witnessed the return of the Blue Sedan.” (42)

“good Charlotte interviewed me about my relations with God” (43)
“I believed in a cosmic spirit.” (43)
“. . . if she ever found out I did not believe in Our Christian God, she would commit suicide. She said it so solemnly that it gave me the creeps. It was then I knew she was a woman of principle.” (43)
“. . . called an envelope and ahnvelope” (43)
“On the day of our wedding a little interview with me appeared in the Society Column of the Ramsdale Journal, with a photograph of Charlotte, one eyebrow up and a misprint in her name (‘Hazer’).” (43)
“Mr. Edgar H. Humbert (I threw in the “Edgar” just for the heck of it), ‘writer and explorer.’” (43)
“. . . ‘several books on Peacock, Rainbow and other poets.’” (43)
“I hinted I had had an affair with her thirteen years ago but this was not mentioned in print. To Charlotte I said that society columns should contain a shimmer of errors.” (43)
“. . . my promotion from lodger to lover . . .” (43)
“Never had I thought that the rather ridiculous, through rather handsome Mrs. Haze, with her blind faith in the wisdom of her church and book club, her mannerisms of elocution, her harsh, cold, contemptuous attitude toward an adorable, downy-armed child of twelve, could turn into such a touching, helpless creature as soon as I laid my hands upon her which happened on the threshold of Lolita’s room whither she tremulously backed repeating ‘no, no, please no.’” (43)
“We had highballs before turning in, and with their help, I would manage to evoke the child while caressing the mother. This was the white stomach within which my nymphet had been a little curved fish in 1934.” (44)
“. . . biologically this was the nearest I could get to Lolita . . .” (44)
Looking at a photograph of Lotte: “So I tom-peeped across the hedges of years, into wan little windows.” (44)
“. . . a constant chiaroscuro of smiles and frowns, doubts and pouts. She dabbled in cretonnes and chintzes; she changed the colors of the sofa, the sacred sofa where a bubble of paradise had once burst in slow motion within me.” (45)
“Dolly (my Dolita)” (45)
“Suddenly I imagined Lo returning from camp, brown, warm, drowsy, drugged, and was ready to weep with passion and impatience.” (45)

“I was considerably amused by certain remarkable sexual habits that the good Harold Haze had had according to Charlotte who thought my mirth improper; but otherwise her autobiography was as devoid of interests as her autopsy would have been.” (46)
“In one of her tasteless reveries, she predicted that the dead infant’s soul would return to earth in the form of the child she would bear in her present wedlock.” (46)
“(Lolita, with an incestuous thrill, I had grown to regard as my child)” (46)
“. . . a chance to be alone with my Lolita for weeks, perhaps, and gorge the limp nymphet with sleeping pills.” (46)
“. . . Charlotte Haze, ne Becker, had underlined the following epithets, ten out of forty, under “Your Child’s Personality”: aggressive, boisterous, critical, distrustful, impatient, irritable, inquisitive, listless, negativistic (underlined twice) and obstinate. She had ignored the thirty remaining adjectives, among which were cheerful, co-operative, energetic, and so forth. It was really maddening” (46)
“. . . her attitude toward my saporous darling’s letters!” (47)
“‘Dear Mummy and Hummy,’” (47)
“‘The dumb child,” said Mrs. Humbert, “has left out a word before ‘time.’ That sweater was all-wool, and I wish you would not send her candy without consulting me.’” (47)
Our Glass Lake: “(Hourglass Lake, not as I had thought it was spelled)” (47)
“. . . taking a dip ‘in the ebony’ . . .” (47)
“. . . wringing one’s hands was a fictional gesture . . .” (48)
“. . . awesome duenna of my darling . . .” (48)
“The only ace I held was her ignorance of my monstrous love for her Lo. She had been annoyed by Lo’s liking me; but my feelings she could not divine. To Valeria I might have said: ‘Look here, you fat fool, c’est moi qui decide what is good for Dolores Humbert.’” ()
“She was like a musician who may be an odious vulgarian in ordinary life, devoid of tact and taste; but who will hear a false note in music with diabolical accuracy of judgment.” (49)
“Lolita! Father and daughter melting into these woods! The natural solution was to destroy Mrs. Humbert. But how?
No man can bring about the perfect murder; chance, however, can do it.” (49)
“On the opposite bank . . . . I could make out the tiny figures of two men working like beavers on their stretch of shore. I knew exactly who they were: a retired policeman of Polish descent and the retired plumber who owned most of the timber on that side of the lake.” (50)
“The setting was really perfect for a brisk bubbling murder, and here was the subtle point: the man of law and the man of water were just near enough to witness an accident and just far enough not to observe a crime.” (50)
“I just could not make myself do it! . . . . and still hell screamed its counsel” (51)
Of Valeria (bear dream): “. . . shooting her lover in the underbelly and making him say “akh!” and sit down.” (51)
The murder: “. . . would not have come off the way it used to in the brocaded palaces of the past. Nowadays you have to be a scientist if you want to be a killer. No, no, I was neither. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the majority of sex offenders that hanker for some throbbing, sweet-moaning, physical but not necessarily coital, relation with a girl-child, are innocuous, inadequate, passive, timid strangers who merely ask the community to allow them to pursue their practically harmless, so-called aberrant behavior, their little hot wet private acts of sexual deviation without the police and society cracking down upon them. We are not sex fiends! We do not rape as good soldiers do. We are unhappy, mild, dog-eyed gentlemen, sufficiently well integrated to control our urge in the presence of adults, but ready to give years and years of life for one chance to touch a nymphet. Emphatically, no killers are we. Poets never kill.” (51)
Perfect-crime parable: “. . . Jean Farlow marched down with her easel and things.” (51-52)
“Jean said she had been up there, in a place of green concealment, spying on nature (spies are generally shot), trying to finish a lakescape, but it was no good, she had no talent whatever (which was quite true)” (52)
“Jean took my wrist upon her knee and examined Charlotte’s gift, then put back Humbert’s hand on the sand, palm up.” (52)
“Next time I expect to see fat old Ivor in the ivory.” (52)

“I would retire to my former room, now a regular “studio,” mumbling I had after all a learned opus to write . . .” (52)
“. . . the motionless sands of Hourglass Lake . . .” (53)
“Then came two or three dim rays of hope, before the ultimate sunburst.” (53)
“. . . her daughter (getting warmer and browner every day in the fair weather of hopeless distance)” (53)
“‘I have also a surprise for you, my dear. We two are not going to England.’” (53)
“‘I can well imagine the thrill that you, a healthy American gal, must experience at crossing the Atlantic on the same ocean liner with Lady Bumble, or Sam Bumble, the Frozen Meat King, or a Hollywood harlot. And I doubt not that you and I would make a pretty ad for the Traveling Agency when portrayed looking, you, frankly starry-eyed, I, controlling my envious admiration, at the Palace Sentries, or Scarlet Guards, or Beaver Eaters, or whatever they are called. But I happen to be allergic to Europe, including merry old England. As you well know, I have nothing but very sad associations with the Old and rotting World.’” (53)
“‘But I am one half of this household, and have a small but distinct voice.’” (53)
“She said I was her ruler and her god.
This little incident filled me with considerable elation. I told her quietly that it was a matter not of asking forgiveness, but of changing one’s ways . . .” (54)
Studio bed, writer’s den (54)
“. . . Charlotte rapped with her ring finger and sauntered in. How different were her movements from those of my Lolita, when she used to visit me in her dear dirty blue jeans, smelling of orchards in nymphetland; awkward and fey, and dimly depraved, the lower buttons of her shirt unfastened.” (54)
“‘I have always wanted to ask you,’ she said (businesslike, not coquettish), ‘why is this thing locked up? Do you want it in this room? It’s so abominably uncouth.’” (54)
“Remarkable how difficult it is to conceal things, especially when one’s wife keeps monkeying with the furniture.” (55)
Dr. Byron: “. . . I saw through his tricks and insisted he prescribe the mightiest pill extant. He suggested I play golf, but finally agreed to give me something that, he said, “would really work”; and going to a cabinet, he produced a vial of violet-blue capsules banded with dark purple at one end, which, he said, had just been placed on the market and were intended not for neurotics whom a draft of water could calm if properly administered, but only for great sleepless artists who had to die for a few hours in order to live for centuries. I love to fool doctors, and though inwardly rejoicing, pocketed the pills with a skeptical shrug.” (56)
Sanatorium: “I had hastily explained that I had once done some research among the insane for a novel.” (56)
“‘The Haze woman, the big bitch, the old cat, the obnoxious mamma, the, the old stupid Haze is no longer your dupe.’” (57)
“. . . you’ll never, never see that miserable brat again.” (57)
“I walked across the landing into the Humberts’ bedroom, and calmly removed my diary from under her pillow into my pocket.” (57)
“I rearranged my respiration . . .” (57)
“[The refrigerator] roared at me viciously while I removed the ice from its heart.” . . . . “Why do faucets sometimes whine so horribly?” . . . . “Bark and bang went the icebox.” (57)
Leslie Tomson’s call: “‘Mrs. Humbert, sir, has been run over and you’d better come quick.’” (58)

Banked banker (58)
“[Charlotte’s three letters] were picked up and handed to me by a pretty child in a dirty pink frock, and I got rid of them by clawing them to fragments in my trouser pocket.” (58)
“My first night of widowhood I was so drunk that I slept as soundly as the child who had slept in that bed.” (59)
“. . . Charlotte’s intention of fleeing with Lo to Parkington, or even back to Pisky, lest the vulture snatch her precious lamb.” (59)
“. . . the various fragments of those three hasty missives were as jumbled in the palms of my hands as their elements had been in poor Charlotte’s head.” (59)
“While on a business visit to the States, I had had occasion to spend several months in Pisky. We met, and had a mad love affair. I was married, alas, and she was engaged to Haze, but after I returned to Europe, we corresponded through a friend, now dead.” (59)
“. . . lovely and fast Charlotte Becker . . .” (59)
John: “‘Look,’ he continued, ‘why don’ I drive there right now, and you may sleep with Jean’ (he did not really add that but Jean supported his offer so passionately that it might be implied).” (60)
“I said I could not bear to have the child all around me, sobbing, clinging to me, she was so high-strung . . .” (60)
“‘John,’ cried Jean, ‘she is his child, not Harold Haze’s. Don’t you understand? Humbert is Dolly’s real father.’” (60)
“. . . I feared insomnia and a ghost.” (60)
“Naturally, at first, when Charlotte had just been eliminated and I re-entered the house a free father, and gulped down the two whiskey-and-sodas I had prepared . . .” (60)
“. . . the awareness that a few hours hence, warm, brownhaired, and mine, mine, mine, Lolita would be in my arms, shedding tears that I would kiss away faster than they could well.” (61)
“Within the intricacies of the pattern (hurrying housewife, slippery pavement, a pest of a dog, steep grade, big car, baboon at its wheel), I could dimly distinguish my own vile contribution. Had I not been such a fool, or such an intuitive genius, to preserve that journal, fluids produced by vindictive anger and hot shame would not have blinded Charlotte in her dash to the mailbox.” (61-62)
“. . . the car and the dog and the sun and the shade and the wet and the weak and the strong and the stone. Adieu, Marlene! Fat fate’s formal handshake (as reproduced by Beale before leaving the room) brought me out of my torpor; and I wept.” (62)

“I do not know if in these tragic notes I have sufficiently stressed the peculiar “sending” effect that the writer’s good looks, pseudo-Celtic, attractively simian, boyishly manly, had on women of every age and environment.” (62)

25 One might suppose that with all blocks
“Eh bien, pas du tout!” (Well, not at all) (63)
Coincidence, commiseration (63)
“. . . Humbert Humbert, a brand-new American citizen of obscure European origin, had taken no steps toward becoming the legal guardian of his dead wife’s daughter (twelve years and seven months old). Would I ever dare take those steps? I could not repress a shiver whenever I imagined my nudity hemmed in by mysterious statutes in the merciless glare of the Common Law.” (63)
“. . . through some freak mechanical flaw all my coins came tumbling back to me with a hitting-the-jackpot clatter that almost made me laugh despite the disappointment at having to postpone bliss.” (64)
“Oh Lolita, you are my girl, as Vee was Poe’s and Bea Dante’s, and what little girl would not like to whirl in a circular skirt and scanties? Did I have something special in mind? coaxing voices asked me. Swimming suits? We have them in all shades. Dream pink, frosted aqua, glans mauve, tulip red, oolala black. What about paysuits? Slips? No slips. Lo and I loathed slips.” (64)
“. . . I thought I could safely accept most of those January measurements: hip girth, twenty-nine inches; thigh girth (just below the gluteal sulcus), seventeen; calf girth and neck circumference, eleven; chest circumference, twenty-seven; upper arm girth, eight; waist, twenty-three; stature, fifty-seven inches; weight, seventy-eight pounds; figure, linear; intelligence quotient, 121; vermiform appendix present, thank God.” (64)
“. . . when shown a skirt with “cute” pockets in front, I intentionally put a naive male question and was rewarded by a smiling demonstration of the way the zipper worked in the back of the skirt.” (64-65)
The Enchanted Hunters (65)
Humbert, Humberg, Homberg, Hamburg (65)
“To rout the monster of insomnia should he try himself one of those amethyst capsules? There were forty of them, all told, forty nights with a frail little sleeper at my throbbing side . . .” (65)

“tombal jail” (65)

“. . . the camp mistress, a sluttish worn out female with rusty hair.” (66)
“She was thinner and taller . . .” (66)
“. . . give this wan-looking though sun-colored little orphan au yeux battus (and even those plumbaceous umbrae under her eyes bore freckles) a sound education, a healthy and happy girlhood, a clean home, nice girl-friends of her age . . .” (66)
“in a wink” (67)
“. . . she was my Lolita again, in fact, more of my Lolita than ever.” (67)
“‘Talk, Lo, don’t grunt. Tell me something.’” (67)
“Shallow lull in the dialogue, filled with some landscape.” (68)
“I slowed down from a blind seventy to a purblind fifty.” (68)
“‘Well, you haven’t kissed me yet, have you?’” (68)
“(sweet wetness and trembling fire)” (68)
“I had finally willed into being, not daring really kiss her, I touched her hot, opening lips with the utmost piety, tiny sips, nothing salacious; but she, with an impatient wriggle, pressed her mouth to mine so hard that I felt her big front teeth and shared in the peppermint taste of her saliva. I knew, of course, it was but an innocent game on her part, a bit of backfisch foolery in imitation of some simulacrum of fake romance, and since (as the psychotherapist, as well as the rapist, will tell you) the limits and rules of such girlish games are fluid, or at least too childishly subtle for the senior partner to grasp, I was dreadfully afraid I might go too far and cause her to start back in revulsion and terror.” (68)
“little colleen” (69)
“Juvenile delickwent, but frank and fetching . . .” (69)

“Say, wouldn’t Mother be absolutely mad if she found out we were lovers?”
“Good Lord, Lo, let us not talk that way.”
“But we are lovers, aren’t we?”
“Not that I know of. I think we are going to have some more rain. Don’t you want to tell me of those little pranks of yours in camp?”
“You talk like a book, Dad.” (69)

“. . . I am absolutely filthy in thought, word and deed.” (70)

“Don’t drool on me. You dirty man.”
She rubbed the spot against her raised shoulder.
“Sorry,” I murmured. “I’m rather fond of you, that’s all.” (71)

“sly tumescent devil” (71)
“. . . all along our route countless motor courts proclaimed their vacancy in neon lights, ready to accommodate salesmen, escaped convicts, impotents, family groups, as well as the most corrupt and vigorous couples.” (72)
“. . . resplendent, rubious in the lighted rain . . .” (72)
““Wow! Looks swank,” remarked my vulgar darling squinting at the stucco as she crept out into the audible drizzle and with a childish hand tweaked loose the frock-fold that had struck in the peach-cleft, to quote Robert Browning.” (72)
“There a bald porcine old man, everybody was old in that old hotel, examined my features with a polite smile, then leisurely produced my (garbled) telegram, wrestled with some dark doubts, turned his head to look at the clock, and finally said he was very sorry, he had held the room with the twin beds till half past six, and now it was gone. A religious convention, he said, had clashed with a flower show . . .” (72)
“Click. Enfin seuls” (Finally alone.) (73)
“Because, my dahrling, when dahrling Mother finds out she’ll divorce you and strangle me.” (74)
“‘The word is incest,’ said Lo, and walked into the closet, walked out again with a young golden giggle, opened the adjoining door, and after carefully peering inside with her strange smoky eyes lest she make another mistake, retired to the bathroom.” (74)
“She said: ‘Look, let’s cut out the kissing game and get something to eat.’” (74)
“great gray eyes” (74)
“the slow snake of a brilliant belt” (74)
“Then she crept into my waiting arms, radiant, relaxed, caressing me with her tender, mysterious, impure, indifferent, twilight eyes, for all the world, like the cheapest of cheap cuties. For that is what nymphets imitate, while we moan and die.” (74)
“What’s the katter with misses?”
“If you must know,” she said, “you do it the wrong way.”
“Show, wight ray.”
“All in good time,” responded the spoonerette. (75)

“. . . father walking in front (nota bene: never behind, she is not a lady)” (75)
“small vial containing Papa’s Purple Pills” (76)
“I had carefully rehearsed before a mirror the gesture of clapping my empty hand to my open mouth and swallowing a (fictitious) pill. As I expected, she pounced upon the vial with its plump, beautifully colored capsules loaded with Beauty’s Sleep.”
“Blue!” she exclaimed. “Violet blue. What are they made of?”
“Summer skies,” I said, “and plums and figs, and the grapeblood of emperors.”
“No, seriously, please.”
“Oh, just purpills. Vitamin X. Makes one strong as an ox or an ax. Want to try one?”
Lolita stretched out her hand, nodding vigorously.” (76)

“. . . two withered women, experts in roses. They looked with sympathy at my frail, tanned, tottering, dazed rosedarling. I had almost to carry her into our room. There, she sat down on the edge of the bed, swaying a little, speaking in dove-dull, long-drawn tones.” (76)
“Oh, I’ve been such a disgusting girl,” (76)

“I had left my Lolita still sitting on the edge of the abysmal bed, drowsily raising her foot, fumbling at the shoelaces and showing as she did so the nether side of her thigh up to the crotch of her panties, he had always been singularly absentminded, or shameless, or both, in matters of legshow.” (77)
“If my happiness could have talked, it would have filled that genteel hotel with a deafening roar.” (77)
“. . . tiny entertainers fore and aft between the mutton and the rose sherbet.” (77)
“The whole point is that the old link between the adult world and the child world has been completely severed nowadays by new customs and new laws.” (77)
“Finally, the sensualist in me (a great and insane monster) had no objection to some depravity in his prey.” (77)
“. . . the nymphean evil breathing through every pore of the fey child that I had prepared for my secret delectation, would make the secrecy impossible, and the delectation lethal.” (78)
“Naked, except for one sock and her charm bracelet, spread-eagled on the bed where my philter had felled her, so I foreglimpsed her; a velvet hair ribbon was still clutched in her hand; her honey-brown body, with the white negative image of a rudimentary swimsuit patterned against her tan, presented to me its pale breastbuds; in the rosy lamplight, a little pubic floss glistened on its plump hillock.” (78)
“. . . the look of lust always is gloomy; lust is never quite sure, even when the velvety victim is locked up in one’s dungeon, that some rival devil or influential god may still not abolish one’s prepared triumph. In common parlance, I needed a drink; but there was no barroom in that venerable place full of perspiring philistines and period objects.” (78)
“a person in the clerical black, a “hearty party” comme on dit” (78)
“sallied lobbyward” (78)
The Hunters’ Hall
The Raspberry Room
“. . . she floated up to me to ask if I was Mr. Braddock, because if so, Miss Beard had been looking for me. “What a name for a woman,” I said and strolled away.” (78)
“. . . a most pleasurable antiphony (in terms of spinal music) to my desire for Lolita, brown and pink, flushed and fouled” (78)
“Sleep is a rose, as the Persians say.” (79)
“If a violin string can ache, then I was that string.” (80)

“As I learned later from a helpful pharmaceutist, the purple pill did not even belong to the big and noble family of barbiturates, and though it might have induced sleep in a neurotic who believed it to be a potent drug, it was too mild a sedative to affect for any length of time a wary, albeit weary, nymphet. Whether the Ramsdale doctor was a charlatan or a shrewd old rogue, does not, and did not, really matter. What mattered, was that I had been deceived.” (80)
“do not skip these essential pages! Imagine me; I shall not exist if you do not imagine me; try to discern the doe in me, trembling in the forest of my own iniquity; let’s even smile a little.” (81)
“The science of nympholepsy is a precise science.” (81)
“(always assuming I lay on my back, not daring to direct my viler side toward the nebulous haunch of my bed-mate)” (81)
“extravagantly sick, almost coughing out his life with his liquor” (81)
“nebulous Lolita!” (81)
“burning with desire and dyspepsia” (82)
“. . . an infantile gesture that carried more charm than any carnal caress, little Lolita wiped her lips against my shoulder.” (82)
“My pillow smelled of her hair.” (82)
“. . . the patrimonies of poets, not crime’s prowling ground.” (82)
“I had thought that months, perhaps years, would elapse before I dared to reveal myself to Dolores Haze; but by six she was wide awake, and by six fifteen we were technically lovers. I am going to tell you something very strange: it was she who seduced me.” ()
“I gently caressed her hair, and we gently kissed. Her kiss, to my delirious embarrassment, had some rather comical refinements of flutter and probe which made me conclude she had been coached at an early age by a little Lesbian.” (83)
“all caresses except kisses on the mouth or the stark act of love either “romantic slosh” or “abnormal”” (83)
“I am not concerned with so-called “sex” at all. Anybody can imagine those elements of animality. A greater endeavor lures me on: to fix once for all the perilous magic of nymphets.” (84)

“arbor in flame-flower” (84)
“a tiger pursuing a bird of paradise” (84)
“luminous globules of gonadal glow” (84)
“There would have been a fire opal dissolving within a ripple-ringed pool, a last throb, a last dab of color, stinging red, smearing pink, a sigh, a wincing child.” (84)

“There is nothing wrong, say both hemispheres, when a brute of forty, blessed by the local priest and bloated with drink, sheds his sweat-drenched finery and thrusts himself up to the hilt into his youthful bride.” (84)
“an old magazine in this prison library” (84)
“. . . I was not even her first lover” (85)

“She told me the way she had been debauched.” (85)
“because I was the only other girl who could make Willow Island” (86)
“soon she and Barbara were doing it by turns” (86)
“mint-bright dimes” (86)
“. . . the body of some immortal demon disguised as a female child.” (87)
“Loquacious Lo was silent” (88)
“This was an orphan. This was a lone child, an absolute waif, with whom a heavy-limbed, foul-smelling adult had had strenuous intercourse three times that very morning.” (88)
““You chump,” she said, sweetly smiling at me. “You revolting creature. I was a daisy-fresh girl, and look what you’ve done to me. I ought to call the police and tell them you raped me. Oh, you dirty, dirty old man.”” (88)
“Presently, making a sizzling sound with her lips, she started complaining of pains, said she could not sit, said I had torn something inside her.” (88)
“‘. . . your mother is dead.’” (89)

“At the hotel we had separate rooms, but in the middle of the night she came sobbing into mine, and we made it up very gently. You see, she had absolutely nowhere else to go.” (89)



Part Two:
“. . . I soon grew to prefer the Functional Motel, clean, neat, safe nooks, ideal places for sleep, argument, reconciliation, insatiable illicit love.” (90-91)
“. . . yellow window shades pulled down to create a morning illusion of Venice and sunshine when actually it was Pennsylvania and rain.” (90)
Motel names: “. . . repetitious names, all those Sunset Motels, U-Beam Cottages, Hillcrest Courts, Pine View Courts, Mountain View Courts, Skyline Courts, Park Plaza Courts, Green Acres, Mac’s Courts.” (90)
“Things to Do (Riding . . . )” (90)
“types of motor court operators” (90)
“And sometimes trains would cry in the monstrously hot and humid night with heartrending and ominous plangency, mingling power and hysteria in one desperate scream.” (90)
“Lo’s predilection for “real” hotels. She would pick out in the book, while I petted her in the parked car in the silence of a dusk-mellowed, mysterious side-road . . .” (90)
Tourist Homes, Colonial Inns (91)
“. . . I derived a not exclusively economic kick from such roadside signs as Timber Hotel, Children under 14 Free.” (91)
“A combination of naiveté and deception, of charm and vulgarity, of blue silks and rosy mirth, Lolita, when she chose, could be a most exasperating brat.” (91)
“. . . her fits of disorganized boredom, intense and vehement griping . . .” (91)
“Mentally, I found her to be a disgustingly conventional little girl.” (91)
“I still hear the nasal voices of those invisibles serenading her, people with names like Sammy and Jo and Eddy and Tony and Peggy and Guy and Patty and Rex . . .” (91)
“If a roadside sign said: Visit Our Gift Shop, we had to visit it . . .” (91)
“If some cafe sign proclaimed Icecold Drinks, she was automatically stirred, although all drinks everywhere were ice-cold. She it was to whom ads were dedicated: the ideal consumer, the subject and object of every foul poster.” (91)
“Lo recalled that scarecrow of a house . . .” (92)
“And it was there that I warned her she would dwell with me in exile for months and years if need be, studying under me French and Latin, unless her “present attitude” changed. Charlotte, I began to understand you!” (92)
“tornadoes of temper” (92)
“. . . I must secure her complete co-operation in keeping our relations secret . . .” (92)
Dream male, dream dad, dream daughter: “. . . you swooned to records of the number one throb-and-sob idol of your coevals . . .” (92)
“I want to protect you, dear, from all the horrors that happen to little girls in coal sheds and alley ways . . .” (92)
“The rapist was Charlie Holmes; I am the therapist, a matter of nice spacing in the way of distinction.” (92)
“. . . the normal girl is usually extremely anxious to please her father. She feels in him the forerunner of the desired elusive male (‘elusive’ is good, by Polonius!).” (92) “. . . the girl forms her ideals of romance and of men from her association with her father.” (92)
“. . . a middle-aged morals offender who pleaded guilty to the violation of the Mann Act and to transporting a nine-year-old girl across state lines for immoral purposes, whatever these are. Dolores darling! You are not nine but almost thirteen, and I would not advise you to consider yourself my cross-country slave, and I deplore the Mann Act as lending itself to a dreadful pun, the revenge that the Gods of Semantics take against tight-zippered Philistines. I am your father, and I am speaking English, and I love you.” (93)
“A minor female, who allows a person over twenty-one to know her carnally, involves her victim into statutory rape, or second-degree sodomy, depending on the technique; and the maximum penalty is ten years. So, I go to jail. Okay. I go to jail. But what happens to you, my orphan?” (93)
“. . . choice of various dwelling places, all more or less the same, the correctional school, the reformatory, the juvenile detention home, or one of those admirable girls’ protectories . . .” (93)
“. . . despite a certain brash alertness of manner and spurts of wit was not as intelligent a child as her I.Q. might suggest.” (93)
“. . . the skeleton of her day sagged and collapsed.” (93)
“Beyond the tilled plain, beyond the toy roofs, there would be a slow suffusion of inutile loveliness, a low sun in a platinum haze with a warm, peeled-peach tinge pervading the upper edge of a two-dimensional, dove-gray cloud fusing with the distant amorous mist.” (94)
“. . . Lo would be charmed by toilet signs, Guys-Gals, John-Jane, Jack-Jill and even Buck’s-Doe’s . . .” (94)

“. . . mad year (August 1947 to August 1948 . . .” (94-94)
“. . . many sidetrips and tourist traps, secondary circles and skittish deviations . . .” (95)
“(these French clichés are symptomatic)” (95)
“A forest in Arkansas and, on her brown shoulder, a raised purple-pink swelling (the work of some gnat) which I eased of its beautiful transparent poison between my long thumbnails and then sucked till I was gorged on her spicy blood.” (96)
“A lanky, six-foot, pale boy with an active Adam’s apple, ogling Lo and her orange-brown bare midriff, which I kissed five minutes later, Jack.” (97)
“Mission Dolores” (97)
“. . . how long did I think we were going to live in stuffy cabins, doing filthy things together and never behaving like ordinary people?” (97)
“. . . curious roadside species, Hitchhiking Man, Homo pollex . . .” (97)
“Owing perhaps to constant amorous exercise, she radiated, despite her very childish appearance, some special languorous glow . . . . might have tickled my pride, had it not incensed my jealousy.” (98)
“. . . two gangling, golden-haired high school uglies, all muscles and gonorrhea. The reader may well imagine what I answered my pet when, rather uncertainly, I admit, she would ask me if she could go with Carl and Al here to the roller-skating rink.” (98)
““Any honey?” he would inquire, and every time my sweet fool giggled.” (98)
“. . . lecherous red-necked dude-rancher behind; and I behind him, hating his fat flowery-shirted back even more fervently than a motorist does a slow truck on a mountain road.” (99)
“(I discovered this tic nerveux because cruel Lo was the first to mimic it), I would park at a strategic point, with my vagrant schoolgirl beside me in the car, to watch the children leave school, always a pretty sight.” (99)
“. . . as glad as an ad, in her trim-fitted satin pants and shirred bra.” (99)
“. . . compare Lolita to whatever other nymphets parsimonious chance collected around her for my anthological delectation and judgment” (99)
“Lo and Behold” (99)
Tennis: “On this or that hotel court I would drill Lo, and try to relive the days when in a hot gale, a daze of dust, and queer lassitude, I fed ball after ball to gay, innocent, elegant Annabel (gleam of bracelet, pleated white skirt, black velvet hair band).” (100)
“. . . ugh of disgust at my intrusion.” (100)
“. . . in clear ringing tones kept the exact score of their ineptitudes all the time.” (100)
“. . . tall man who carried two tennis rackets . . . . Lo, in slacks, and her companion, in shorts, trudging up and down a small weedy area, and beating bushes with their rackets in listless search for their last lost ball.” (100)
“. . . flowering trees, while in the midst of that oculate paradise, my freckled and raffish lass skipped . . .” (100)
“‘Whose cat has scratched poor you?’ A full-blown fleshy handsome woman of the repulsive type to which I was particularly attractive . . .” (101)
“. . . Lo, on the other hand, would do her utmost to draw as many potential witnesses into her orbit as she could.” (101)
“. . . figuratively speaking wagging her tiny tail, her whole behind in fact as little bitches do . . .” (101)
“. . . after I had loved too loudly, a neighbor’s masculine cough filled the pause as clearly as mine would have done . . .” (101)
“. . . I was thank God a widower” (101)
“my world, umber and black Humberland” (102)
“. . . between a Hamburger and a Humburger, she would, invariably, with icy precision, plump for the former.” (102)
“. . . beaches which were either too bleak when lone, or too populous when ablaze” (103)
“gartered black sock and sloppy white sock” (103)
“. . . and she was weeping in my arms; a salutory storm of sobs after one of the fits of moodiness that had become so frequent . . .” (104)
“blind impatient passion” (104)
“but a dot of blackness in the blue of my bliss” (104)
“two strange and beautiful children, faunlet and nymphet, whom their identical flat dark hair and bloodless cheeks proclaimed siblings if not twins.” (104)
“I remember one matinee in a small airless theatre crammed with children and reeking with the hot breath of popcorn.” (105)
“. . . meek, fishy me and dangerous Dolores Haze . . .” (105)
“I had conditioned [John Farlow] into believing Dolores was my natural child . . .” (106)
“. . . no matter how I pleaded or stormed, I could never make her read any other book than the so-called comic books or stories in magazines for American females. Any literature a peg higher smacked to her of school . . . . she was quite sure she would not fritter away her “vacation” on such highbrow reading matter.” (106)
“. . . years in subtropical bliss until I could safely marry my little Creole ” (106)
“. . . around 1950 I would have to get rid somehow of a difficult adolescent whose magic nymphage had evaporated . . .” (106) (Lolita Second and Third)
“ Would improvement be forthcoming with a fixed domicile and a routine schoolgirl’s day?” (107)
“. . . attach myself somehow to some patterned surface which my stripes would blend with . . .” (107)
“. . . I clung to the cheaper motor courts; but every now and then, there would be a loud hotel de luxe, or a pretentious dude ranch, to mutilate our budget . . .” (107)
“. . . unpractical as I am, I have surely forgotten a number of items.” (107)
“. . . she had added two inches to her stature and eight pounds to her weight. We had been everywhere. We had really seen nothing. And I catch myself thinking that our long journey had only defiled with a sinuous trail of slime the lovely, trustful, dreamy, enormous country that by then, in retrospect, was no more to us than a collection of dog-eared maps, ruined tour books, old tires, and her sobs in the night, every night, every night, the moment I feigned sleep.” (107)

“Gaston Godin, who was seldom right in his judgment of American habitus, had warned me that the institution might turn out to be one of those where girls are taught, as he put it with a foreigner’s love for such things: “not to spell very well, but to smell very well.” I don’t think they achieved even that.” (108)
“(blue! Lolita!) . . . . (a genius! Gaston!) . . . . Mr. Humbird” (108)
“. . . we stress the four D’s: Dramatics, Dance, Debating and Dating.” “delightful Dolly Humbird”(108-109)
“. . . we grope intelligently, like a gynecologist feeling a tumor.” (109)
“Mr. Humberson” “Dorothy Hummerson” (109)
“foam of shabby mauve and chrome autumn roadside flowers” (109)
“Apart from the psychological comfort this general arrangement should afford me by keeping Dolly’s day adjacent to mine, I immediately foresaw the pleasure I would have in distinguishing from my study-bedroom, by means of powerful binoculars, the statistically inevitable percentage of nymphets among the other girl children playing around Dolly during recess . . .” . . . . “ workmen arrived and put up a fence” (109)

“. . . amiable fine-dayers yelping at you.” (110)
“ The odious spinster, trying to conceal her morbid inquisitiveness under a mask of dulcet goodwill . . .” (110)
“ Another time the loathsome creature accosted me with a welcoming whine, but I evaded her . . .” (110)
Godin: “much too self-centered and abstract” “. . . the simplicity of my attitude towards him, which attitude was as free of polite strain as it was of ribald allusions . . .” “colorless mind and dim memory” “He always wore black, even his tie was black; he seldom bathed . . .” (111)
Lolita jumping while Humbert plays chess with Godin: “. . . confusing those distant thuds with the awful stabs of my formidable Queen.” (112)

“. . . my school-girl nymphet had me in thrall.” (112)
“ Her weekly allowance . . . . was twenty-one cents . . . . and went up to one dollar five ” (112)
“. . . I might fondly demand an additional kiss, or even a whole collection of assorted caresses . . .” (112)
“ love’s languor ” (113)
“. . . she managed, during one schoolyear! to raise the bonus price of a fancy embrace to three, and even four bucks! ” (113)
“. . . so every now and then I would burgle her room and scrutinize torn papers in the wastebasket with the painted roses, and look under the pillow of the virginal bed I had just made myself.” (113)
“. . . what I feared most was not that she might ruin me, but that she might accumulate sufficient cash to run away. I believe the poor fierce-eyed child had figured out that with a mere fifty dollars in her purse she might somehow reach Broadway or Hollywood, or the foul kitchen of a diner (Help Wanted) in a dismal ex-prairie state, with the wind blowing, and the stars blinking, and the cars, and the bars, and the barmen, and everything soiled, torn, dead.” (113)

“Welcome, fellow, to this bordello.” (113)
“But I was quite positive that as long as my regime lasted she would never, never be permitted to go with a youngster in rut to a movie, or neck in a car, or go to boy-girl parties at the houses of schoolmates, or indulge out of my earshot in boy-girl telephone conversations, even if ‘only discussing his relations with a friend of mine.’” (114)
“I cannot be absolutely certain that in the course of the winter she did not manage to have, in a casual way, improper contacts with unknown young fellows . . .” (114)
“. . . my jealousy would constantly catch its jagged claw in the fine fabrics of nymphet falsity . . .” (114)
“. . . all varieties of high school boys, from the perspiring nincompoop whom “holding hands” thrills, to the self-sufficient rapist with pustules and a souped-up car, equally bored my sophisticated young mistress. “All this noise about boys gags me,” she had scrawled on the inside of a schoolbook, and underneath, in Mona’s hand (Mona is due any minute now), there was the sly quip: “What about Rigger?” (due too).” (114)
Red Sweater
“. . . her feet gestured all the time: she would stand on her left instep with her right toe, remove it backward, cross her feet, rock slightly, sketch a few steps, and then start the series all over again.” (115)
“. . . I liked to see her spinning up and down Thayer Street on her beautiful young bicycle: rising on the pedals to work on them lustily, then sinking back in a languid posture while the speed wore itself off . . .” (115)
“. . . Walton Inn (famous for its violet-ribboned china bunnies and chocolate boxes . . .” (115)
“. . . Professor W., also a slow-moving and gentle widower with the eyes of a goat.” (115)
“. . . Mr. Edgar H. Humbert was seen eating his steak in the continental knife-and-fork manner.” (116)

“Opal Something, and Linda Hall, and Avis Chapman, and Eva Rosen, and Mona Dahl” (116)
“. . . [Opal] doted on Dolly who bullied her.” (116)
“I suspect Linda was a true nymphet . . .” “. . . a flash of natural sunshine on an indoor court.” (116)
“Of the rest, none had any claims to nymphetry except Eva Rosen.” (116)
“Avis was a plump lateral child with hairy legs” (116)
“. . . Mona, though handsome in a coarse sensual way and only a year older than my aging mistress, had obviously long ceased to be a nymphet, if she ever had been one.” (116)
“I spoke French to [Eva] (much to Lo’s disgust).” (116)
“. . . [Mona] remarked that her (Lo’s) sweater was of virgin wool: “The only thing about you that is, kiddo…”” (117)

“‘Dolly Haze,” she said, “is a lovely child, but the onset of sexual maturing seems to give her trouble.’
I bowed slightly. What else could I do?” (118)
“. . . shuttling . . . . between the anal and genital zones of development . . .” (118)
“She lit up and the smoke she exhaled from her nostrils was like a pair of tusks.” (119)
“The general impression is that fifteen-year-old Dolly remains morbidly uninterested in sexual matters, or to be exact, represses her curiosity in order to save her ignorance and self-dignity.” (119)
“You just must allow her to take part in The Hunted Enchanters. She was such a perfect little nymph in the try-out . . .” (120)
“‘. . . Miss Cormorant thinks, and I am inclined to agree with her, that Dolly is obsessed by sexual thoughts for which she finds no outlet, and will tease and martyrize other girls, or even our younger instructors because they do have innocent dates with boys.’” ()
“‘. . . that both teachers and schoolmates find Dolly antagonistic, dissatisfied, cagey . . .’” (120)
“Dolly has written a most obscene four-letter word which our Dr. Cutler tells me is low-Mexican for urinal with her lipstick on some health pamphlets . . .” (121)
“. . . nicknames for its various classrooms: Mushroom, Room-In 8, B-Room, Room-BA and so on.” (121)
“At one of these, my Lolita was reading the chapter on “Dialogue” in Baker’s Dramatic Technique, and all was very quiet, and there was another girl with a very naked, porcelain-white neck and wonderful platinum hair, who sat in front reading too, absolutely lost to the world and interminably winding a soft curl around one finger, and I sat beside Dolly just behind that neck and that hair, and unbuttoned my overcoat and for sixty-five cents plus the permission to participate in the school play, had Dolly put her inky, chalky, red-knuckled hand under the desk.” (121)

“Around Christmas she caught a bad chill . . .” (121)
“And as soon as she was well again, I threw a Party with Boys.
Perhaps I had drunk a little too much in preparation for the ordeal. Perhaps I made a fool of myself.” (122)
“The party was not a success” (122)
“Lo said ugh, closed her eyes, and dropped into a chair with all four limbs starfished to express the utmost disgust and exhaustion and swore it was the most revolting bunch of boys she had ever seen. I bought her a new tennis racket for that remark.” (122)
“. . . her bicycle manner, I mean her approach to it, the hip movement in mounting, the grace and so on, afforded me supreme pleasure; but my attempt to refine her pictorial taste was a failure . . .” (122)

The Enchanted Hunters: “The coincidence of the title with the name of an unforgettable inn was pleasant in a sad little way” (123)
“But in my credulous, simple, benevolent mind I happened to twist it the other way round, and without giving the whole matter much though really, supposed that mural, name and title had all been derived from a common source, from some local tradition, which I, an alien unversed in New England lore, would not be supposed to know.” (123)
“The Enchanted Hunters was a quite recent and technically original composition which had been produced for the first time only three or four months ago by a highbrow group in New York.” (123)
“. The red-capped, uniformly attired hunters, of which one was a banker, another a plumber, a third a policeman, a fourth an undertaker, a fifth an underwriter, a sixth an escaped convict (you see the possibilities!) . . .” (123)
“. . . a seventh Hunter (in a green cap, the fool) was a Young Poet, and he insisted, much to Diana’s annoyance, that she and the entertainment provided (dancing nymphs, and elves, and monsters) were his, the Poet’s, invention.” (123)
“. . . what was the name of that hotel . . . . the hotel where you raped me . . .” “. . . was it [almost in a whisper] The Enchanted Hunters? Oh, it was? [musingly] Was it?” (124)

Chess: “. . . I spent a dreary hour in achieving a draw.” (124)
“mocking me with her heartless vaporous eyes” (125)
“. . . I perceived all at once with a sickening qualm how much she had changed since I first met her two years ago. Or had this happened during those last two weeks?” (125)
“Oh, she had changed!” (125)
“. . . the red had left stains on her front teeth, and I was struck by a ghastly recollection, the evoked image not of Monique, but of another young prostitute in a bell-house, ages ago, who had been snapped up by somebody else before I had time to decide whether her mere youth warranted my risking some appalling disease . . .” (125)
“. . . bit of dingy red ribbon in her country-brown hair.” (125)
“From that moment, I stopped restraining my voice, and we continued yelling at each other, and she said, unprintable things. She said she loathed me.” (126)
“. . . the damp black night of a sour New England spring had been breathlessly listening to us. I had always thought that type of haddocky spinster with the obscene mind was the result of considerable literary inbreeding in modern fiction” (126)
Lolita escaped: “I had no other alternative than to pursue on foot the winged fugitive.” (126)
“At the next corner, pressing Lolita against an iron railing, a blurred youth held and kissed, no, not her, mistake.” (126)
“‘I choose? C’est entendu?’ she asked wobbling a little beside me. Used French only when she was a very good little girl.” (127)
“And in the meantime the rain had become a voluptuous shower.” (127)
“‘. . . I’ve decided something. I want to leave school I hate that school I hate the play . . .’” (127)
“She bared her teeth and after her adorable school-girl fashioned, leaned forward, and away she sped, my bird.” (127)
“. . . of shedding torrents of tears throughout the other tempest.” (128)

“Actually I was toying with the idea of gently trickling across the Mexican border, I was braver now than last year, and there deciding what to do with my little concubine who was now sixty inches tall and weighed ninety pounds.” (128)
“My Love’s striped, black-and-white cotton frock, jauntry blue with the large beautifully cut aquamarine on a silver chainlet, which gemmed her throat: a spring rain gift from me.” (128)
“‘You are a funny creature, Lolita . . .’” (129)
“‘I remember you gave up Ramsdale for camp, and camp for a joyride, and I could list other abrupt changes in your disposition.’” (129)

“. . . and the motel reverted to the good old hotel.” (130)
“. . . I felt instinctively that toilets, as also telephones, happened to be, for reasons unfathomable, the points where my destiny was liable to catch . . . . here shall John always stumble; there shall Jane’s heart always break.” (120)
“. . . the growing volume of her absence began to weigh upon me in the windy grayness.” (130)
“. . . discarded bottles within the incompleted crossword puzzle of their wooden cells . . .” (130)
“. . . a tremendous sunset which the tried child ignored.” (131)
“She wanted to remain in bed till teatime at least, with lots of magazines, and then if she felt better she suggested we just continue westward.” (131)
“a bunch of bananas for my monkey” (131)
“juicy tidbit I had sucked out at last from a hollowy tooth” (132)
“. . . her broad teeth glistened like wine-tinged ivory, or pinkish poker chips. And there she sat, hands clasped in her lap, and dreamily brimmed with a diabolical glow that had no relations to me whatever.” (132)
“muddy, moony eyes” (132)
“I said nothing. I pushed her softness back into the room and went in after her. I ripped her shirt off. I unzipped the rest of her, I tore off her sandals. Wildly, I pursued the shadow of her infidelity; but the scent I traveled upon was so slight as to be practically undistinguishable from a madman’s fancy.” (132)

“There, snugly wrapped in a white woolen scarf, lay a pocket automatic: caliber .32, capacity of magazine 8 cartridges, length a little under one ninth of Lolita’s length, stock checked walnut, finish full blued. I had inherited it from the late Harold Haze, with a 1938 catalog which cheerily said in part: ‘Particularly well adapted for use in the home and car as well as on the person.’” (133)
“We must remember that a pistol is the Freudian symbol of the Ur-father’s central forelimb.” (133)
“. . . I did wound a squirrel on a later occasion when I went out alone. “You lie here,” I whispered to my light-weight compact little chum, and then toasted it with a dram of gin.” (133)

“forget Chestnuts and Colts” (133)
“detective Trapp” “Aztec Red Convertible” “. . . that the Red Yak keeping behind us at a discreet distance mile after mile was operated by a detective whom some busybody had hired to see what exactly Humbert Humbert was doing with that minor stepdaughter of his.” (133-134)
“As happens with me at periods of electrical disturbance and crepitating lightnings, I had hallucinations.” (134)
“Being a murderer with a sensational but incomplete and unorthodox memory, I cannot tell you, ladies and gentlemen, the exact day when I first knew with utter certainty that the red convertible was following us.” (134)
“seeing that red ghost swimming and shivering with lust in my mirror” (134)
“The Bustle: A Deceitful Seatful.” (134)
“our humble blue car and its imperious red shadow” (135)
“O lente currite noctis equi! O softly run, nightmares!” (135)
“. . . Lo, writhing in the coils of her own sarcasm.” (136)
“a sonorous amplitude of rain, and with a kind of prehistorically loud thunder incessantly rolling above us” (136)
“‘Your humor,” said Lo, “is sidesplitting, deah fahther.’” (136)
“the mesas gave way to real mountains” (136)
Wace: “. . . the Magic Cave ceremonies were over!” (136)
“The only detail that pleased me was a garland of seven little graces, more or less immobile, prettily painted, barelimbed, seven bemused pubescent girls in colored gauze that had been recruited locally (judging by the partisan flurry here and there among the audience) and were supposed to represent a living rainbow . . .” Orange, Emerald (136)
“. . . manual applause, a sound my nerves cannot stand, began to crash all around me . . .” (136)
“. . . the stunned, starry night: I always say nature is stunned by the sights she sees.” (136)
“ Dolly-Lo” (136)
“. . . I glimpsed something of the joint authors, a man’s tuxedo and the bare shoulders of a hawk-like, black-haired, strikingly tall woman.” (136-137)
“‘You must be confusing me with some other fast little article.’” (137)
“If you want to make a movie out of my book, have one of these faces gently melt into my own, while I look.” (137)
Mona’s Letter: The play: “. . . the terrific electric storm outside interfered with our own modest offstage thunder.” (137-138)
“. . . there was no Lo to behold.” (138)
“It had happened at last. She had gone for ever.” (138)
“A big W made of white stones on a steep talus in the far vista of a cross street seemed the very initial of woe.” (138)
“conspiracy of poplars” (138)
“. . . one long block: Drugs, Real Estate, Fashions, Auto Parts, Cafe, Sporting Goods, Real Estate, Furniture, Appliances, Western Union, Cleaners, Grocery. Officer . . .” (138)
“‘You have been absent twenty-eight minutes. What did the two Dollys do?’” (139)
Comics: “the current adventure of some clout or clown” (141)
“. . . the morning had dumped its litter of light on an empty table . . .” (141)
“. . . Lo looked up with a semi-smile of surprise and without a word I delivered a tremendous backhand cut that caught her smack on her hot hard little cheekbone.” (141)
Gray: Dream Blue Melmoth, Crest Blue Oldsmobile, Chrysler’s Shell Gray, Chevrolet’s Thistle Gray, Dodge’s French Gray” (141) Dominion Blue (142)
“profound study of all cars on the road” (141)
“Detective Paramour Trapp” (142)
“‘You got a flat, mister,” said cheerful Lo.’” (142)
“. . . during the last two years little Lo had had ample time to pick up the rudiments of driving.” (142)
Tire change: “‘ordeal of the orb,’ as Charlotte used to say.” (142)
“. . . if I were really losing my mind, I might end by murdering somebody. In fact, said high-and-dry Humbert to floundering Humbert, it might be quite clever to prepare things, to transfer the weapon from box to pocket, so as to be ready to take advantage of the spell of insanity when it does come.” (142)

“. . . permitting Lolita to study acting . . .” (142)
“. . . the white wide little-boy shorts, the slender waist, the apricot midriff, the white breast-kerchief whose ribbons went up and encircled her neck to end behind in a dangling knot leaving bare her gaspingly young and adorable apricot shoulder blades with that pubescence and those lovely gentle bones, and the smooth, downward-tapering back.” (143)
“Idiot, triple idiot! I could have filmed her! I would have had her now with me, before my eyes, in the projection room of my pain and despair!” (143)
Edusa’s sister, Electra Gold (144)
“Ah, Electra, what did it matter, with such grace! I remember at the very first game I watched being drenched with an almost painful convulsion of beauty assimilation.” (144)
“That I could have had all her strokes, all her enchantments, immortalized in segments of celluloid, makes me moan today with frustration. They would have been so much more than the snapshots I burned!” (144)
“I suppose I am especially susceptible to the magic of games.” (145)
“But who would upset such a lucid dear? Did I ever mention that her bare arm bore the 8 of vaccination? That I loved her hopelessly? That she was only fourteen?” (145)
Fay Page: “an indolent dark girl with a moody mouth and hard eyes” (145)
“. . . they carried [their tennis rackets] not as if they were the natural and comfortable extensions of certain specialized muscles, but hammers or blunderbusses or whimbles, or my own dreadful cumbersome sins.” (145)
“. . . she melted into winsome merriment, my golden pet.” (145)
“I was about to reply “Sorry, but” (for I hate to have my filly involved in the chops and jabs of cheap bunglers) . . .” (145)
“This, to use an American term, in which discovery, retribution, torture, death, eternity appear in the shape of a singularly repulsive nutshell, was it.” (146)
“Oh, I would fight. Better destroy everything than surrender her.” (146)
“A quartet of propositions gradually became audible: soprano, there was no such number in Beardsley; alto, Miss Pratt was on her way to England; tenor, Beardsley School had not telephoned; bass, they could not have done so, since nobody knew I was, that particular day, in Champion, Colo. Upon my stinging him, the Roman took the trouble to find out if there had been a long distance call. There had been none.” (146)
“. . . golden Lolita playing in a double.” (146)
“One of these, her partner, while changing sides, jocosely slapped her on her behind with his racket.” (146)
“There was a momentary flurry, he saw me, and throwing away his racket, mine, scuttled up the slope.” (146)
“. . . Lolita said she would like to change into her bathing things, and spend the rest of the afternoon at the swimming pool. It was a gorgeous day. Lolita!” (147)

“. . . Aztec Red bathing briefs and bra . . .” (147)
“. . . my organs swam in it like excrements in the blue sea water in Nice.” (147)
“. . . his great fat bullybag was pulled up and back like a padded shield over his reversed beasthood.” (147)
“And I also knew that the child, my child, knew he was looking, enjoyed the lechery of his look and was putting on a show of gambol and glee, the vile and beloved slut.” (147)
“As she made for the ball and missed it, she fell on her back, with her obscene young legs madly pedaling in the air . . .” (147)
“Who can say what heartbreaks are caused in a dog by our discontinuing a romp?” (148)
“Then for a long time I lay in a lounge chair swallowing pony upon pony of gin.” (148)
Gustave Trapp: “. . . used to counteract his “sprees” (he drank beer with milk, the good swine) by feats of . . .” (148-149)

“. . . it was becoming abundantly clear that all those identical detectives in prismatically changing cars were figments of my persecution mania, recurrent images based on coincidence and chance resemblance.” (148)
“. . . I could do nothing with the anguish of knowing Lolita to be so tantalizingly, so miserably unattainable and beloved on the very even of a new era, when my alembics told me she should stop being a nymphet, stop torturing me.” (148)
“. . . we would spin on to California, to the Mexican border, to mythical bays, saguaro desserts, fatamorganas.” (148)
“Good-will tours on that smiling level eliminate the distinction between passport and sport. Why did I hope we would be happy abroad? A change of environment is the traditional fallacy upon which doomed loves, and lungs, rely.” (148)
“she felt awful. Shamming, I thought, shamming, no doubt, to evade my caresses; I was passionately parched; but she began to whimper in an unusually dreary way when I attempted to fondle her. Lolita ill. Lolita dying. Her skin was scalding hot!” ()
“And I would have given her a sip of hot spiced wine, and two aspirins, and kissed the fever away, if, upon an examination of her lovely uvula, one of the gems of her body, I had not seen that it was a burning red. I undressed her. Her breath was bittersweet. Her brown rose tasted of blood.” (149)
“. . . thither I drove, half-blinded by a royal sunset on the lowland side . . .” (149)
“Dr. Blue, whose learning, no doubt, was infinitely inferior to his reputation . . .” (149)
“‘ague’ of the ancients” (149)
“unsmiling blond bitch of a secretary” (149)
“I returned to the car and remained in it for I do not know how many hours, hunched up in the dark, stunned by my new solitude, looking out open-mouthed now at the dimly illumined, very square and low hospital building squatting in the middle of its lawny block, now up at the wash of stars and the jagged silvery ramparts of the haute montagne . . .” (149)
“I made out what looked like the silhouette of gallows on what was probably a school playground . . .” (149)
“. . . millions of so-called ‘millers,’ a kind of insect, were swarming around the neon contours of ‘No Vacancy’; ; and, when, at 3 a.m., after one of those untimely hot showers which like some mordant only help to fix a man’s despair and weariness, I lay on her bed that smelled of chestnuts and roses, and peppermint, and the very delicate, very special French perfume I latterly allowed her to use, I found myself unable to assimilate the simple fact that for the first time in two years I was separated from my Lolita.” (150)
“. . . some “serum” (sparrow’s sperm or dugong’s dung) . . .” (150)
Mary Lore: “. . . beastly young part-time nurse who had taken an unconcealed dislike to me . . .” (150)
“. . . probably to warn her poor little Dolores that the tyrannical old father was creeping up on crepe soles, with books and bouquet . . .” (150)
“phony armorial design with ‘Ponderosa Lodge’” (150)
“. . . wonderful how fast they move and how little they do, those rumpy young nurses.” (150)
“. . . her topaz ring burned in the sun.” (151)
“‘What gruesome funeral flowers,” she said. “Thanks all the same. But do you mind very much cutting out the French? It annoys everybody.’” (151)
“. . . the two girls were conspirators, plotting in Basque, or Zemfirian, against my hopeless love. I shall go further and say that Lo was playing a double game since she was also fooling sentimental Mary . . .” (151)
“. . . another nurse whom I never identified, and the village idiot who carted cots and coffins into the elevator, and the idiotic green love birds in a cage in the waiting room, all were in the plot, the sordid plot.” (151)
“. . . roly-poly Romeo (for you were rather lardy, you know, Rom, despite all that “snow” and “joy juice”).” (151)
“‘My Carmen,’ I said (I used to call her that sometimes), ‘we shall leave this raw sore town as soon as you get out of bed.’. . . . ‘… Because, really,’ I continued, ‘there is no point in staying here.’
‘There is no point in staying anywhere,” said Lolita.” (151)
“I do not think they had more than a dozen patients (three or four were lunatics, as Lo had cheerfully informed me earlier) in that show place of a hospital, and the staff had too much leisure.” (152)
“Saint, forsooth! While brown Dolores,
On a patch of sunny green
With Sanchicha reading stories
In a movie magazine . . .” (152)
Frank: “ he had taken off the glove he usually wore on his left hand . . . . and revealed to the fascinated sufferer not only an entire lack of fourth and fifth fingers, but also a naked girl, with cinnabar nipples and indigo delta, charmingly tattooed on the back of his crippled hand, its index and middle digit making her legs while his wrist bore her flower-crowned head. Oh, delicious… reclining against the woodwork, like some sly fairy.” (152)
“. . . if I felt probably Polynesian ” (153)
“. . . I went on drinking, and by morning the fever was gone . . .” (153)
“A bright voice informed me that yes, everything was fine, my daughter had checked out the day before, around two, her uncle, Mr. Gustave, had called for her with a cocker spaniel pup and a smile for everyone, and a black Caddy Lack, and had paid Dolly’s bill in cash, and told them to tell me I should not worry, and keep warm, they were at Grandpa’s ranch as agreed.” ()
“. . . I sideswiped a parked car but said to myself telestically, and, telepathically (I hoped), to its gesticulating owner, that I would return later . . .” . . . . “the gin kept my heart alive but bemazed my brain, and after some lapses and losses common to dream sequences . . .” (153)
“. . . a gaunt unsmiling nurse presented me with seven beautiful, beautiful books and the exquisitely folded tartan lap robe, and demanded a receipt . . .” (153)
“. . . meekly I signed the very symbolic receipt, thus surrendering my Lolita to all those apes.” (153)
“One false move, and I might have been made to explain a life of crime. So I simulated a coming out of a daze.” (153)
“. . . adding however that I was not on particularly good terms with the rest of the Humbert clan.” (153)
“. . . I still had my gun, and was still a free man, free to trace the fugitive, free to destroy my brother.” (153)

“the red fiend” (153)
“. . . we had seldom made more than a hundred and fifty miles per traveling day . . .” (154)
“. . . my shyness, my distaste for any ostentation, my inherent sense of the comme il faut . . .” (154)
“. . . I registered, if not actually stayed, at 342 hotels, motels and tourist homes” (154)
“My survey showed that of the 300 or so [hotel guest registration] books inspected, at least 20 provided me with a clue: the loitering fiend had stopped even more often than we . . .” (154)
“Only in one case had he actually stayed at the same motor court as we, a few paces from Lolita’s pillow.” (154)
“How vividly I recalled Lolita . . . . prone on the parlor rug, studying tour books and maps, and marking laps and stops with her lipstick!” (154)

Insulting pseudonyms: “Dr. Gratiano Forbeson, Mirandola, NY.” (Italian Comedy connotations) (154) “Arsne Lupin” (155) “A. Person, Porlock, England.” (155) “Arthur Rainbow” (155) “Morris Schmetterling” (155) “D. Orgon, Elmira, NY” (155) “Harry Bumper, Sheridan, Wyo.” (155) “Phineas Quimby, Lebanon, NH” (155) “Dr. Kitzler, Eryx, Miss.” (155) “Johnny Randall, Ramble, Ohio” (155) “N.S. Aristoff, Catagela, NY” (155) “James Mavor Morell, Hoaxton, England” (156) “G. Trapp, Geneva, NY” (156) “Aubrey Beardsley, Quelque Part Island” (156) “Lucas Picador, Merrymay, Pa” (156) “Will Brown, Dolores, Colo” (156) “Harold Haze, Tombstone, Arizona” (156) “Donald Quix, Sierra, Nev” (156) “Ted Hunter, Cane, NH” (156)

“One moonlit night I waylaid white-shoed Mary on a solitary street; an automaton, she was about to shriek, but I managed to humanize her by the simple act of falling on my knees and with pious yelps imploring her to help.” . . . . “I whipped out a hundred-dollar bill. She lifted it to the light of the moon. ‘He is your brother,’ she whispered at last. I plucked the bill out of her moon-cold hand, and spitting out a French curse turned and ran away.” (154)
“. . . he succeeded in thoroughly enmeshing me and my thrashing anguish in his demoniacal game.” (155)
“. . . always leaving me with the sportive hope, if I may use such a term in speaking of betrayal, fury, desolation, horror and hate . . .” (155)
“We all admire the spangled acrobat with classical grace meticulously walking his tight rope in the talcum light; but how much rarer art there is in the sagging rope expert wearing scarecrow clothes and impersonating a grotesque drunk! I should know.” (155)
“He mimed and mocked me. His allusions were definitely highbrow. He was well-read. He knew French. He was versed in logodaedaly and logomancy. He was an amateur of sex lore. He had a feminine handwriting. He would change his name but he could not disguise, no matter how he slanted them, his very peculiar t’s, w’s and l’s.” (155)
“. . . he did not use a fountain pen which fact, as any psychoanalyst will tell you, meant that the patient was a repressed undinist. One mercifully hopes there are water nymphs in the Styx.” (155)
“I am sufficiently proud of my knowing something to be modest about my not knowing all . . .” (155)
“. . . his fiendish conundrum would ejaculate in my face!” (155)
“. . . I feel I am groping in a border-land mist with verbal phantoms turning, perhaps, into living vacationists.” (155)
“Such things as ‘G. Trapp, Geneva, NY.’ was the sign of treachery on Lolita’s part.” (156)

“As I waited there, in the prostatic discomfort, drunk, sleep-starved, with my gun in my fist in my raincoat pocket, it suddenly occurred to me that I was demented and was about to do something stupid.” (157)
Private detective, two years’ deposit: “. . . an eighty-year-old Indian by the name of Bill Brown lived near Dolores, Colo.” (157)

Three empty years that followed, Dolores Disparue (157)
“. . . destroyed an accumulation of teen-magazines . . . . Stone age at heart; up to date, or at least Mycenaean, as to hygiene.” (158)
“Ads and fads.” (158)
“Comics. Bad girl dark hair fat father cigar; good girl red hair handsome daddums clipped mustache.” (158)
“The Squirl and his Squirrel, the Rabs and their Rabbits
Have certain obscure and peculiar habits.
Male hummingbirds make the most exquisite rockets.
The snake when he walks holds his hands in his pockets…” (158)
“At the time I felt I was merely losing contact with reality; and after spending the rest of the winter and most of the following spring in a Quebec sanatorium where I had stayed before . . .” (158)

The poem: “By psychoanalyzing this poem, I notice it is really a maniac’s masterpiece.” . . . . “. . . as drawn by psychopaths in tests devised by their astute trainers.”(161)
“But not for a second did I forget the load of revenge.” (161)
“. . . two years of monstrous indulgence had left me with certain habits of lust . . .” (161)

Rita (Ritochka, 162): “. . . twice Lolita’s age and three quarters of mine” (161)
“amiably drunk” (161)
“. . . I decided to give her a try; I did, and adopted her as a constant companion.” (161)
“Dear Rita! We cruised together for two dim years, from summer 1950 to summer 1952 . . .” (162)
“. . . she was the most soothing, the most comprehending companion that I ever had, and certainly saved me from the madhouse. I told her I was trying to trace a girl and plug that girl’s bully.” (162)
“Then one day she proposed playing Russian roulette with my sacred automatic; I said you couldn’t, it was not a revolver, and we struggled for it, until at last it went off, touching off a very thin and very comical spurt of hot water from the hole it made in the wall of the cabin room; I remember her shrieks of laughter.” (162)
“. . . her slow languorous columbine kisses kept me from mischief. It is not the artistic aptitudes that are secondary sexual characters as some shams and shamans have said; it is the other way around: sex is but the ancilla of art.” (162)
“. . . dear Rita and I awoke to find a third in our room . . .” (162)
“Five glasses had been used, which in the way of clues, was an embarrassment of riches.” (162)
“. . . he peevishly insinuated that somehow we had purloined his (worthless) identity.” (163)
“Oh Mnemosyne, sweetest and most mischievous of muses!” (163)
“. . . a theory of perceptual time based on the circulation of the blood and conceptually depending (to fill up this nutshell) on the mind’s being conscious not only of matter but also of its own self, thus creating a continuous spanning of two points (the storable future and the stored past).” (163)
“. . . I was turning the enormous and fragile pages of a coffin-black volume almost as big as Lolita.” (164)
“. . . reminds one of the tenth or twentieth soldier in the raping queue who throws the girl’s black shawl over her white face so as not to see those impossible eyes while taking his military pleasure in the sad, sacked village.” (164)
“An innocent camera catching me on my dark way to Lolita’s bed, what a magnet for Mnemosyne!” (164)
“The size of certain parasites is one sixth of the host.” (164)
“Wine, wine, wine, quipped the author of Dark Age who refused to be photographed, may suit a Persuan bubble bird, but I say give me rain, rain, rain on the shingle roof for roses and inspiration every time.” (164)
“The place was called Enchanted Hunters. Query:
What Indian dyes, Diana, did thy dell
endorses to make of Picture Lake a very
blood bath of trees before the blue hotel?” (164)
“. . . such suffusions of swimming colors are not to be disdained by the artist in recollection.” (165)

“. . . a semblance of Lolita’s script causing me almost to collapse as I leant against an adjacent urn, almost my own.” (165)
“pre-dolorian past” (165)
Illusion: “. . . a half-naked nymphet stilled in the act of combing her Alice-in-Wonderland hair.” (165)
“appended taboo” (165)
“the gap between the little given and the great promised” (165)
“crowd all the demons of my desire against the railing of a throbbing balcony” (165)
“Eve would revert to a rib” (165)
“. . . chance and a change to smaller characters on the pale beloved writer’s part. My fancy was both Proustianized and Procrusteanized . . .” (165)
“. . . September 1952, as I had come down to grope for my mail, the dapper and bilious janitor with whom I was on execrable terms started to complain that a man who had seen Rita home recently had been ‘sick like a dog’ . . .” (165)

“I have often noticed that we are inclined to endow our friends with the stability of type that literary characters acquire in the reader’s mind.” (166)
“We have it all arranged in our minds, and the less often we see a particular person the more satisfying it is to check how obediently he conforms to our notion of him every time we hear of him. Any deviation in the fates we have ordained would strike us as not only anomalous but unethical. We would prefer not to have known at all our neighbor, the retired hot-dog stand operator, if it turns out he has just produced the greatest book of poetry his age has seen. (166)

Farlow’s letter:
“He seemed particularly relieved to get rid of the Haze ‘complications.’” (166)
“They were going to India for their honeymonsoon.” (166)
“. . . my affairs which he termed “very strange and very aggravating.” Busybodies, a whole committee of them, it appeared, had informed him that the whereabouts of little Dolly Haze were unknown, and that I was living with a notorious divorcee in California.” (166)
“He suggested that I better produce Dolly quick.” (166)

The other letter:
“‘Dear Dad: . . . . This town is something. You can’t see the morons for the smog.’” (166-167)
“ Dolly (Mrs. Richard F. Schiller)” (167)

Rita: “. . . left her forever, with a note of tender adieu which I taped to her navel, otherwise she might not have found it.” (167)
“I had my little black chum with me, and as soon as I reached a secluded spot, I rehearsed Mr. Richard F. Schiller’s violent death.” (167)
“speechless glade” (167)
“a certain stiffness in the play of the trigger, and I wondered if I should get some oil for the mysterious thing” (167)
“Back into the car went the old dead sweater, now with additional perforations, and having reloaded warm Chum, I continued my journey.” (167)
“. . . not Coalmont, anyway, I have camouflaged everything, my love . . .” (167)
“grossness and obscene bonhomie of his body” (167)
“I resolved to make myself especially handsome and smart” (167)
“I was not able, alas, to hold my breakfast, but dismissed that physicality as a trivial contretemps, wiped my mouth with a gossamer handkerchief produced from my sleeve, and, with a blue block of ice for heart, a pill on my tongue and solid death in my hip pocket, I stepped neatly into a telephone booth in Coalmont (Ah-ah-ah, said its little door)” (168)
“. . . his, and his address was, let me see, 10 Killer Street (I am not going very far for my pseudonyms).” (168)
“Ah-ah-ah, said the little door.” (168)
“two long-haired strawberry-blond incredibly grubby nymphets” (168)
“. . . the ancient beast in me was casting about for some lightly clad child I might hold against me for a minute, after the killing was over and nothing mattered any more, and everything was allowed . . .” “168)
Dick Skiller (168)
“. . . the two thin-armed, barefoot little girls and their dim grandmothers.” 168)
“. . . the end of my journey, at my gray goal, finis, my friends, finis, my fiends.” (168)

Finds Lola: “She was frankly and hugely pregnant.” (169)
“‘Husband at home?’ I croaked, fist in pocket.
I could not kill her, of course, as some have thought. You see, I loved her. It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.” (169)
“Dolly-smell, with a faint fried addition.” (169)
“familiar Javanese gestures” (169)
“. . . choose between a rocker and the divan (their bed after ten p.m.)” (169)
“We both sat down on the divan.” (169)
“. . . I definitely realized, so hopelessly late in the day, how much she looked, had always looked, like Botticelli’s russet Venus . . .” (169)
“. . . we were bristling at each other as if she were still mine.” (170)
“Dick did not know a thing of the whole mess. He thought I was her father . . . “ . . . . “He believed anything.” (170)
“. . . if she expected the help I had come to give, I must have at least a clear comprehension of the situation.” (170)
“And softly, confidentially, arching her thin eyebrows and puckering her parched lips, she emitted, a little mockingly, somewhat fastidiously, not untenderly, in a kind of muted whistle, the name that the astute reader has guessed long ago.” (170)
“. . . everything fell into order, into the pattern of branches that I have woven throughout this memoir with the express purpose of having the ripe fruit fall at the right moment . . .” (170)
“Did I know he had seen me and her at the inn where he was writing the very play she was to rehearse in Beardsley, two years later? Did I know, it had been horrid of her to sidetrack me into believing that Clare was an old female . . .” (171)
“. . . the Wace Journal carried [Clare’s] picture.
The Briceland Gazette had not.” (171)
“Yes, she said, this world was just one gag after another, if somebody wrote up her life nobody would ever believe it.” (171)
“‘Dick, this is my Dad!’” (171)
“The exquisite courtesy of simple folks.” (171)
“(not such a wonder-worker after all)” (172)
“For a few minutes, three or four little eternities which positively welled with artificial warmth . . .” (172)
“His Adam’s apple was large and hairy. Why don’t they shave better, those young brawny chaps? He and his Dolly had had unrestrained intercourse on that couch there, at least a hundred and eighty times, probably much more; and before that, how long had she known him? No grudge. Funny, no grudge at all, nothing except grief and nausea.” (172)
“French epithets, a Dorset yokel’s knuckles, an Austrian tailor’s flat finger tips, that’s Humbert Humbert.” (172)
“. . . pulled the pistol’s foreskin back, and then enjoyed the orgasm of the crushed trigger . . .” (172)
“Lovely mauve almond trees in bloom.” (172)
“[Dolly’s] ambiguous, brown and pale beauty excited [Bill] the cripple.” (173)
“Why do those people guess so much and shave so little, and are so disdainful of hearing aids?” (173)
“She was smoking herself. First time I saw her doing it. Streng verboten under Humbert the Terrible. Gracefully, in a blue mist, Charlotte Haze rose from her grave.” (173)
“. . . like her mother, oh my God . . .” (173)
Clare Quilty: “Edusa had warned her that Cue liked little girls, had been almost jailed once, in fact (nice fact), and he knew she knew.” . . . . Cue, “Had rocked with laughter when she confessed about me and her, and said he had thought so.” (173)
“Her camp five years ago. Curious coincidence . . .” (173)
“Did I remember the red-haired guy we (“we” was good) had once had some tennis with? Well, the place really belonged to Red’s brother, but he had turned it over to Cue for the summer. When Cue and she came, the others had them actually go through a coronation ceremony and then, a terrific ducking, as when you cross the Equator. You know.” (173)
“The idea was he would take her in September to Hollywood . . .” (174)
“[Cue] was a great guy in many respects. But it was all drink and drugs. And, of course, he was a complete freak in sex matters, and his friends were his slaves. I just could not imagine (I, Humbert, could not imagine!) what they all did at Duk Duk Ranch. She refused to take part because she loved him, and he threw her out.” (174)
“Sade’s Justine was twelve at the start.” (174)
“Oh, I, really I,” she uttered the “I” as a subdued cry while she listened to the source of the ache, and for lack of words spread the five fingers of her angularly up-and-down-moving hand. No, she gave it up, she refused to go into particulars with that baby inside her.” (174)
“‘I’m just not going to [souffler] your beastly boys, because I want only you. Well, he kicked me out.’” (174)
“Fay had tried to get back to the Ranch, and it just was not there any more, it had burned to the ground, nothing remained, just a charred heap of rubbish.” (174)
“an afterwork radio had begun singing of folly and fate, and there she was with her ruined looks and her adult, rope-veined narrow hands and her goose-flesh white arms, and her shallow ears, and her unkempt armpits, there she was (my Lolita!), hopelessly worn at seventeen, with that baby . . .” (174-175)
“She was only the faint violet whiff and dead leaf echo of the nymphet I had rolled myself upon with such cries in the past; an echo on the brink of a russet ravine . . .” (175)
“. . . it was not that echo alone that I worshipped.” (175)
“. . . until I am gagged and half-throttled, I will shout my poor truth. I insist the world know how much I loved my Lolita, this Lolita, pale and polluted, and big with another’s child . . .” (175)
“‘Lolita,” I said, “this may be neither here nor there but I have to say it. Life is very short. From here to that old car you know so well there is a stretch of twenty, twenty-five paces. It is a very short walk. Make those twenty-five steps. Now. Right now. Come just as you are. And we shall live happily ever after.’” (175)
“Carmen, voulez-vous venir avec moi?” (175)

“‘You mean,’ she said opening her eyes and raising herself slightly, the snake that may strike, ‘you mean you will give us [us] that money only if I go with you to a motel. Is that what you mean?’
“‘No,’ I said, ‘you got it all wrong. I want you to leave your incidental Dick, and this awful hole, and come to live with me, and die with me, and everything with me” (words to that effect). (175)

“‘I’ll die if you touch me,’ I said. ‘You are sure you are not coming with me? Is there no hope of your coming? Tell me only this.’
‘No,’ she said. “No, honey, no.’
She had never called me honey before.
‘No . . . . I would sooner go back to Cue. I mean’
She groped for words. I supplied them mentally (“He broke my heart. You merely broke my life”).” (176)

“I’m so sorry I cheated so much, but that’s the way things are.” (176)
“. . . trembled and silkily glowed on my damp retina, a radiant child of twelve, sitting on a threshold, “pinging” pebbles at an empty can.” (176)
“Yes, I was quite sure I had to go. I had to go, and find [the lawyer], and destroy him.” (176)
“I was surprised (this a rhetorical figure, I was not) . . .” (176)
“. . . you will not come to live with me? I will create a brand new God and thank him with piercing cries, if you give me that microscopic hope . . .” (177)
“Then I pulled out my automatic, I mean, this is the kind of fool thing a reader might suppose I did. It never even occurred to me to do it.
‘Good by-aye!’ she changed, my American sweet immortal dead love; for she is dead and immortal if you are reading this.” (177)
“. . . with the windshield wipers in full action but unable to cope with my tears.” (177)

“I pulled up at the curb and in darkness drank deep from a friendly flask.” (177)
“Sherry-red letters of light” (178)
“genuflection lubricity” “Gulflex Lubrication” (178)
“velvet heavens” (178)
“. . . he is as good as destroyed.” (178)
“We made shadow-graphs.” (178)
“This furtive burg was not far from The Enchanted Hunters.” (178)
“I was weeping again, drunk on the impossible past.” (178)

“. . . my heart and by beard, and my putrefaction, that in the infinite run it does not matter a jot that a North American girl-child named Dolores Haze had been deprived of her childhood by a maniac . . .” (178)
“The moral sense in mortals is the duty
We have to pay on mortal sense of beauty.” (178)

Smothered memories (179):
“. . . that I was to her . . . . but just two eyes and a foot of engorged brawn, to mention only mentionable matters.” (179)
“. . . I happened to glimpse from the bathroom, through a chance combination of mirror aslant and door ajar, a look on her face…” (179)
“(I was taking both nymphets [Lolita and Eva Rosen] to a concert and walking behind them so close as almost to touch them with my person)” (179)
“. . . I simply did not know a thing about my darling’s mind . . .” . . . . “. . . dim and adorable regions which happened to be lucidly and absolutely forbidden to me . . .” (179)
“. . . icebergs in paradise, when after having had my fill of her, after fabulous, insane exertions that left me limp and azure-barred, I would gather her in my arms with, at last, a mute moan of human tenderness . . .” (180)
“. . . caress her at random and mutely ask her blessing, and at the peak of this human agonized selfless tenderness . . . . , all at once, ironically, horribly, lust would swell again, and “oh, no,” Lolita would say with a sigh to heaven, and the next moment the tenderness and the azure, all would be shattered.” (180)
“Mid-twentieth century ideas concerning child-parent relationship have been considerably tainted by the scholastic rigmarole and standardized symbols of the psychoanalytic racket . . .” (180)
“. . . Lolita always had an absolutely enchanting smile for strangers . . .” “hospitable prostitution” “it was never directed at the stranger in the room” (180)
“Where is she buried anyway?” “Who?” “Oh, you know, my murdered mummy.” 180)
“‘Ray,’ said Lo for hurrah” (180)
“[The book Lo was reading] was some trash for young people.” (180)
“When my mother, in a livid wet dress, under the tumbling mist (so I vividly imagined her), had run panting ecstatically up that ridge above Moulinet to be felled there by a thunderbolt, I was but an infant, and in retrospect no yearnings of the accepted kind could I ever graft upon any moment of my youth, no matter how savagely psychotherapists heckled me in my later periods of depression.” (181)
“It had become gradually clear to my conventional Lolita during our singular and bestial cohabitation that even the most miserable of family lives was better than the parody of incest, which, in the long run, was the best I could offer the waif.” (181)

Return to Ramsdale:
“Bonzhur, Charlotte” (181)
“. . . in an American suburban street a lone pedestrian is more conspicuous than a lone motorist . . .” (181)
“. . . I noticed that from the lawn I had mown a golden-skinned, brown-haired nymphet of nine or ten, in white shorts, was looking at me with wild fascination in her large blue-black eyes.” (182)
“. . . I became aware of my mud-caked dungarees, my filthy and torn sweater, my bristly chin, my bum’s bloodshot eyes.” (182)
“. . . Miss Opposite was being wheeled out by her nieces, onto her porch, as if it were a stage and I the star performer.” (182)
“What a steep little street. What a profound avenue. A red ticket showed between wiper and windshield; I carefully tore it into two, four, eight pieces.” (182)
“downtown hotel” (182)
Hotel bar: “. . . dim, impossible garnet-red light that in Europe years ago went with low haunts, but here meant a bit of atmosphere in a family hotel.” (182)
“With a harsh cry of recognition, one pounced upon me. She was a stout, short woman in pearl-gray, with a long, gray, slim plume to her small hat. It was Mrs. Chatfield. She attacked me with a fake smile, all aglow with evil curiosity. (Had I done to Dolly, perhaps, what Frank Lasalle, a fifty-year-old mechanic, had done to eleven-year-old Sally Horner in 1948?)” (182)
“With exquisite pleasure I informed her that my stepdaughter had just married a brilliant young mining engineer . . .” (182)
Phyllys Chatfield: “‘By the way, did she ever tell you how Charlie Holmes debauched there his mother’s little charges?’” (182)
“‘For shame . . . . [Charlie Holmes] has just been killed in Korea.’” (183)
“vient de” vs. “just” (183)
“barber and priest” (183)
“. . . in hope of alleviating facial neuralgia, I had decided to have all my teeth removed.” (183)
“‘On second thoughts, I shall have it all done by Dr. Molnar. His price is higher, but he is of course a much better dentist than you [Dr. Quilty].’
I do not know if any of my readers will ever have a chance to say that. It is a delicious dream feeling.” (184)
“Push the magazine into the butt. Press home until you hear or feel the magazine catch engage. Delightfully snug. Capacity: eight cartridges. Full Blued. Aching to be discharged.” (184)

Pavor Manor:
“henchmen and whores” (184)
“. . . festive and ramshackle castle in terms of ‘Troubled Teens’ . . .” (184)

“Such a thorough oil bath did I give Chum . . .” (185)
“. . . I could not help realizing, as my feet touched the springy and insecure ground, that I had overdone the alcoholic stimulation business.” (185)
“With a petulant snarl, I pushed the front door, and, how nice, it swung open as in a medieval fairy tale.” (185)
“So I trudged upstairs. My right hand clutched muffled Chum in my pocket, my left patted the sticky banisters.” (185)
“constitutional in the woods” (185)
“very tight hunter” (185)
“. . . in a bar-adorned kitchen gingerly unwrapped dirty Chum . . .” (185)
“naked Chum” (185)
Punch/Quilty: “To know that this semi-animated, subhuman trickster who had sodomized my darling, oh, my darling, this was intolerable bliss!” (186)
“I pointed Chum at his slippered foot and crushed the trigger. It clicked. He looked at his foot, at the pistol, again at his foot. I made another awful effort, and, with a ridiculously feeble and juvenile sound, it went off.” (188)
“It was high time I destroyed him, but he must understand why he was being destroyed.” (188)
Quilty to Humbert: “I saved her from a beastly pervert.” . . . . “You see, I had no fun with your Dolly.” (188)
“I am a playwright. I have written tragedies, comedies, fantasies. I have made private movies out of Justine and other eighteenth-century sexcapades.” (189)
“Chum protruding” (189)
“live long, my love” (189)
“It was a silent, soft, formless tussle on the part of two literati, one of whom was utterly disorganized by a drug while the other was handicapped by a heart condition and too much gin.” (189)
“. . . both of us were panting as the cowman and the sheepman never do after their battle.” (189)
“We are men of the world, in everything, sex, free verse, marksmanship.” (191)
“. . . my dear Mr. Humbert, you were not an ideal stepfather, and I did not force your little protégé to join me. It was she made me remove her to a happier home.” (191)
Quilty’s house: “. . . I suggest you move in. It is yours, gratis.” (192)
“. . . I propose to borrow, you know, as the Bard said, with that cold in his head, to borrow and to borrow and to borrow.” (192)
“. . . a thing or two I know about the chief of police makes him my slave.” (192)
“Never use herculanita with rum.” (192)
“Melanie Weiss, Bagration Island” “Barda Sea” (192)
“. . . moreover I can arrange for you to attend executions, not everybody knows that the chair is painted yellow.” (192)
“. . . Clare the Impredictable sat down before the piano and played several atrociously vigorous, fundamentally hysterical, plangent chords . . .” (192)
“‘Ah, that hurts, sir, enough!’” (193)
“. . . I understood that far from killing him I was injecting spurts of energy into the poor fellow, as if the bullets had been capsules wherein a heady elixir danced.” (193)
“He was trudging from room to room, bleeding majestically, trying to find an open window, shaking his head, and still trying to talk me out of murder. I took aim at his head, and he retired to the master bedroom with a burst of royal purple where his ear had been.” (193)
“. . . I want to stress the fact that I was responsible for every shed drop of his bubbleblood” (193)
“The whole sad business had taken more than an hour. He was quiet at last.” (193)
“. . . a burden even weightier than the one I had hoped to get rid of was with me . . .” (193)
“chatting and chinking ice” (194)
“I stopped in the doorway and said: “I have just killed Clare Quilty.” “Good for you,” said the florid fellow as he offered one of the drinks to the elder girl. “Somebody ought to have done it long ago,” remarked the fat man.” (194)
“Quilty of all people had managed to crawl out onto the landing, and there we could see him, flapping and heaving, and then subsiding, forever this time, in a purple heap.” (194)

“I had left my raincoat in the boudoir and Chum in the bathroom. No, it was not a house I would have liked to live in.” (194)
“. . . reviving quilted Quilty, Clare Obscure. Not that I cared” (194)
“I was all covered with Quilty, with the feel of that tumble before the bleeding.” (194)
“. . . since I had disregarded all laws of humanity, I might as well disregard the rules of traffic. So I crossed to the left side of the highway and checked the feeling, and the feeling was good.” (194)
“Passing through a red light was like a sip of forbidden Burgundy when I was a child.” (195)
“After coughing myself inside out . . .” (195)
“vapory vibration” (195)
“. . . I knew that the hopelessly poignant thing was not Lolita’s absence from my side, but the absence of her voice from that concord.” (195)
“I have camouflaged what I could so as not to hurt people. And I have toyed with many pseudonyms for myself before I hit on a particularly apt one.” (196)
“. . . I realized that I could not parade living Lolita. I still may use parts of this memoir in hermetic sessions, but publication is to be deferred.” (196)
“. . . I wish this memoir to be published only when Lolita is no longer alive.” (196)
“Be true to your Dick.” (196)
“. . . do not pity C. Q. One had to choose between him and H.H. . . .” (196)
“. . . one wanted H.H. to exist at least a couple of months longer, so as to have him make you live in the minds of later generations.” (196)
“I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art.” (196)
“. . . the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita.” (196)


coulant un regard
mais je divague
les yeux perdus
brun adolescent
se tordre
hors concours
dans la force de l’age
vieillard encore vert
mes goûts
Oui, ils sont gentils.
Prenez donc une de ces poires.
La bonne dame d’en face m’en offre plus que je n’en peux savourer.
Mississe Taille Lore vient de me donner des dahlias, belles fleurs que j’excre
Et toutes vos fillettes, elles vont bien ?
ne montrez pas vos jambes

mon pauvre ami, je ne vous ai jamais revu et quoiqu’il y ait bien peu de chance que vous voyiez mon livre, permettez-moi de vous dire que je vous serre la main bien cordialement, et que toutes mes fillettes vous saluent.

d’un petit air faussement contrit
J’ai toujours admiré l’oeuvre du sublime dublinois
C’est entendu
qui prenait son temps
adolori d’amoureuse langueur
Ne manque pas de dire ton amant, Chimne, comme le lac est beau car il faut qu’il t’y mène. Lucky beau!
titre documentaire
sarcasm un ricanement
la pomme de sa canne
Soyons logiques
haute montagne
“Je croyais que c’était un bill, not a billet doux.” (love letter) (150)
Est-ce que tu ne m’aimes plus, ma Carmen?
une belle dame toute en bleu
comme il faut
Quelque Part Island
chambres garnies
pleats que c’était loin, tout cela!
Et moi qui t’offrais mon genie
souvenir que me veux-tu ?
petite nymphe accroupie
vin triste
Mes fentres!
Savez-vous qu’ dix ans ma petite était folle de vois?
Pas tout à fait
Personne. Je resonne. Repersonne.
mon grand péché radieux
Changeons de vie, ma Carmen, allons vivre quelque part o nous ne serons jamais séparés
Carmen, voulez-vous venir avec moi?
mon petit cadeau
Carmencita, lui demandais-je…
mais je t’aimais, je t’aimais!
mille grâces
vient de
Réveillez-vous, Laqueue, il est temps de mourir!
Kipling: une femme est une femme, mais un Caporal est une cigarette
Vous voilà dans de beaux draps, mon vieux
Alors, que fait-on?
soyons raisonnables



pre-prandial sherry
vivid vermeil, vermillion
odious vulgarian
in the ivory
sanatorium, sanitarium
plumbaceous umbrae
hermetic seclusion
nota bene
primal sonorities
ange gauche
diaphanous darling
orchideous masculinity
limp prostration
sartorial categories
ardors, pure lucre
Argus-eyed East
celestial vapidity
dropsical dackel
effusively, edusively
pussled (pulled?)
trapped flatus
remises (premises?)
faun, fawn
lassitude, indolence
purling men’s room
liberal libations
fiend’s spoor
logodaedaly (a person cunning in the use of words, rather like the modern expression “wordsmith”.)
logomancy (divination with words.)
prostatic discomfort
kiddoid gnomide
supersensitive system
scanned and skimmed
genuflection lubricity
pentapod monster
hospitable prostitution
bestial cohabitation
perforated pied shoes
selenian glow
petulant snarl
innocuous hallucination
parapet on the precipice
tombal seclusion