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by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita Book 1, Chapter 13 Summary

  • Just when they think the trip to the lake will happen, it doesn't. Angry Lolita refuses to go to church and so stays home with Humbert.
  • Humbert gets really cozy with his reader here, wanting to make sure that we don't think that he's a pervert because of the story he is about to tell us. As he often does, Humbert lays out the events like he is describing a scene in a movie.
  • This is what he tells us:
  • He and Lolita are sitting on the couch engaging in some highly symbolic extended flirtation involving an apple. While Lolita moves around on the couch fighting over a magazine with Humbert, he derives secret pleasure from her body's movements near his.
  • Humbert describes his private climax in highly poetic terms. Lolita doesn't even appear to notice that he has just had achieved a "euphoria of release" (1.13.12), and trots off in her silly way.

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