Meetup with Humbert and Lolita May 5, 2010 9:52 AM   Subscribe

Book club! Book club! Start your engines, Lolita is the next book on the reading list. Mefi Chat date is June 15. Here is the link to the first of the three Professor Amy Hungerford (Yale) lectures on Nabokov and Lolita. And pretty please could the mods sidebar this upcoming Mefi Book Club discussion?
posted by bearwife to MetaFilter Gatherings at 9:52 AM (34 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

Oh man. I'm writing a paper on Lolita right now. I have opinions!
posted by mmmbacon at 10:03 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Love the first half! Always feel a bit guilty for never enjoying the second half enough! When re-reading, often stop shortly after the section break! But have always loved the last few pages! Secret of durable pigments! How does book club work?!
posted by nobody at 10:14 AM on May 5, 2010

nobody, book club is easy -- re read the book, read or watch or listen to the 3 lectures, come to meta chat on June 15 and join the thread.
posted by bearwife at 10:25 AM on May 5, 2010

I thought book club was a MeCha thing, not a MeFi thing.
posted by dobbs at 11:15 AM on May 5, 2010


And now I have an excuse to re-read it for the 8th goddamned time.
posted by The Whelk at 11:23 AM on May 5, 2010

Book club is a Mefi thing which is organized here and conducted on MeCha. Or at least that's what we've done for the previous 2 books (Black Boy and Wise Blood.) It's a special kinda meetup.
posted by bearwife at 11:33 AM on May 5, 2010

I'm in! Always wanted to read that book. Woo!
posted by biochemist at 2:35 PM on May 5, 2010

posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:52 PM on May 5, 2010

I haven't participated in previous book club discussions, but for Lolita, I will break that streak!
posted by Elsa at 3:11 PM on May 5, 2010

Count me in as well.
posted by Skygazer at 4:46 PM on May 5, 2010

I'm not quite sure what a book club is for, but apparently it's very popular, so I think I'll give it a try.

Me too. Could someone tell me how this basically works, and where the book club website is?
posted by Houstonian at 6:02 PM on May 5, 2010

If you can get ahold of a copy, I highly reccomend the ANNOTATED Lolita. I'm not usually an annotated type of person, but due to Nabokov's bushels of cleverness, the annotated version for this one is mindblowingly delightful. I read Lolita just about every summer, and it keeps on being dense and genius, and that Humbert guy is such a liar! The annotated Lolita picks up on all these twists and turns that he uses throughout the narration, and it's absolutely the only way to catch all the bits and bullshit.
posted by redsparkler at 10:01 PM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Where do these discussions take place? Can you link to previous discussions?
posted by dgaicun at 10:28 PM on May 5, 2010

Also here is my flimsy excuse to link to the jiggling butt of a 15 year old, which garnered an MTV "Best Kiss" nomination. Nabokov is the gift that just keeps giving.

... Speaking of which, I would much rather coffee klatch his new book ("new" "book"?), The Original of Laura, since fewer people have told us what and how to think about it.
posted by dgaicun at 10:52 PM on May 5, 2010

Houstonian and dgaicun, the discussions are on Meta Chat. It would be good to sign up for MeCha now if you haven't already. Thread to discuss will go up on June 15. Dgaicun, your alternate book proposal sounds interesting but theme of this book club is to track the Hungerford course and lectures. (Doesn't mean you can't talk about the "new" book in the June 15 thread, of course.)
posted by bearwife at 10:14 AM on May 6, 2010

I thought it was on LibraryThing? Or, that was something else? I looked through the other threads about this. It kinda seemed like everyone read the whole book, and then wrote a few paragraphs about what they thought. Is that what's done?
posted by Houstonian at 3:09 PM on May 6, 2010

Many years ago, on CBC late-nite radio, I listened to actor James Mason reciting the audio-book version of Lolita, light of my life..
posted by ovvl at 7:20 PM on May 6, 2010

I am very excited about this.

Also, if I could post a tiny quibble, I dunno if I'd recommend reading the annotated version first --- when you read it cold the first time, you miss tons of stuff. But that means that if/when you read it a second time, the very careful clues, hits, and allusions inlaid throughout the novel are revealed to you as if drenched in neon; it's not quite like a whole different book, but it is a whole new layer of complexity....reading Lolita the second time is one of the literary experiences I have most treasured in my life.

"Quietly the fusion took place, and 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."
posted by Diablevert at 8:08 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Here is something about Lolita I always loved from a friend "When you first read it, you kinda side with Humpert, then with Lolita, and then with Charlotte, and then Rosa and Quilty and eveyone who isn't Humpert cause wow, he is a bad bad man who does entrance you with his pretty prose style, which is like the whole "writing a novel" thing."
posted by The Whelk at 8:27 PM on May 6, 2010

This might be a good place to put where/what MeChat is.
posted by NoraReed at 8:49 PM on May 6, 2010

MetaChat is an informal place for MeFites to touch base and post, discuss and chatter about topics that may not belong on MetaFilter. Questions? Check the FAQ. Please note: This is important.
posted by pracowity at 1:18 AM on May 7, 2010

Is it possible to get another MeTa reminder on the day the discussion starts? I just finished it for the first time and would love to take part, but can almost guarantee I'll miss it otherwise.
posted by twirlypen at 12:44 PM on May 7, 2010

Shothotbot, whose fabulous idea this book club oriented around the Hungerford American Lit class was, or I will post a MeTa reminder June 8 and again on June 15 when MeCha thread goes up.
posted by bearwife at 12:49 PM on May 7, 2010

I dunno if I'd recommend reading the annotated version first

I've got the annotated edition redsparkler linked to, and the annotations are end notes, so there's no difficulty in ignoring the notes on your first read (which is what I'm doing.)
posted by Zed at 1:35 PM on May 7, 2010

Definitely read through it cold the first time, but the annotated version is amazing for the second run-- it's not all just about the hints and allusions and themes that refer to the whole of Lolita; an awful lot of them are things about other books Nabokov was mocking or praising, interesting information about purposeful mistranslations from French on Humbert's part, a history of Nabokov's fascination with butterflies as seen in his other writing, etc., none of which I would ever have gotten regardless of how many times I read through Lolita on its own.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:46 AM on May 10, 2010

Got my annotated Lolita on Saturday, can't wait. I threw Reading Lolita in Tehran into my ereader too, as my husband and I get set to take off on a 3 week vacation, likely disconnected the whole time from the internet. This looks like it will be a fun book club meetup on MeCha. Meanwhile please memail ShotHotBot with any questions . . . he's busy but very good about responding just the same.
posted by bearwife at 10:20 AM on May 10, 2010

I started with my third copy, for a third read, with the Everyman Edition, which beautiful as it is, I want to destroy that gorgeously bound and printed sucker with underlines and creased pages and copious notes in the margins and end pages. Ever since the Kindle and crap like that I love real books more than ever, unto an almost Lolita-esque fetishistic need to consume and digest and be consumed and digested by paper and ink, inhabit and be inhabited by the physical thing when I came across the annotated version on my GF's bookshelf and, well...I've barely made a dent in the book cos the annotations are so interesting unto themselves, so I've decided I'm going to stick with my Everyman edition and continue on with it and only look in the annotated edition for the stuff that I just can't wait to figure out what it's about.

So that's my plan and I'm sticking to it.

No really, I am.

or I'm never going to finish reading it.
posted by Skygazer at 12:13 PM on May 10, 2010

into...unto etc...
posted by Skygazer at 12:59 PM on May 10, 2010

Is there a trick to creating a MetaChat account that someone could help me learn? I'm getting the error, "There is no user by the name "Tantivy". Check your spelling, or use the form below to create a new user account." But there isn't a form below, and I don't know how to make it appear.

I'm using Firefox and Chrome on Windows XP.
posted by tantivy at 4:19 PM on May 10, 2010

tantivy, can you email jessamyn or cortex? They are unbelievably helpful about everything.

OK, now I'm really quittin' this computer. Back around May 31.
posted by bearwife at 7:17 PM on May 10, 2010

I am reading this book and would like to follow this thread.
posted by mosessis at 8:19 AM on May 15, 2010

I'd like to join in, but what time is the chat going to begin ?
posted by nicolin at 8:09 AM on May 24, 2010

I have plunged into the MeCha thread. The water is lovely, but we still don't have enough folks to play a proper game of Marco Polo.
posted by Diablevert at 5:35 PM on June 15, 2010

I read the book in a timely fashion, but never got around to the lectures. Doh!
posted by Zed at 9:27 AM on June 17, 2010

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