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by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita Foreword Summary

  • Humbert Humbert, author of the manuscript, originally titled the Lolita, or the Confession of a White Widowed Male, died in 1952 in "legal captivity" (Fore.1), though we don't know what he was there for in the first place.
  • Humbert Humbert's attorney contacted the author of the Foreword and asked him to edit and publish it after Humbert's death.
  • Very few changes were made to the manuscript. Though the names were changed to protect the innocent, as they say – all, that is except Lolita because her name is so integral to the story.
  • If you care to do a little research in newspapers from fall of 1952, you would be able to confirm that "H.H."'s crime really occurred, though you won't find out why.
  • The fate of several people is announced – for example, a Mrs. Richard F. Schiller has died in childbirth – though who all of these folks are remains unclear.
  • Though the novel's subject matter is very racy, there are no "four-letter words" (Fore.4). Far from pornography, the novel teaches moral lessons.
  • Reader, be warned: the novel's narrator is a monster but a darned good writer and an honest one at that.
  • We have a lot to learn from the story, particularly about being more attentive guardians of innocent children.

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