And now, after eight primarily practical chapters, Nabokov fears he may be losing us. What does he do? This: an injection of passion after so much detached cruelty, an appeal to our sympathies for the poor pervert.
Of course, the function is double: Nabokov also wants to remind us not to trust our deceitful narrator. To do so, he leads us to believe H.H. is a little unhinged: asking himself rhetorical questions, answering them, and in the same turn addressing absent Lo herself. Nabokov leads us to wonder if H.H. is, after all, genuinely in love with Lolita, as H.H. paints a scene of emotional torture. Gentlemen and -women of the jury, an appeal to our sympathies!
And just a dash of self-loathing: “I am only a brute…”
Nabokov concludes with a metareference. Classic, Vlad.
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