Vladimir Nabokov   Lolita  
Vladimir Nabokov    
Jeremy Irons reads Lolita

Lolita: an excerpt

  I like dirty books.

From Terry Southern's Candy to Tropic of Cancer, I have always been a fan of literature that pushed boundaries. Books you have to read alone, under the covers with a flashlight, so to speak.

I first met Lolita in the summer of 1990. I remember the bookstore (Unabridged Books on Broadway in Chicago) and the edition (Vintage Trade Paperback), and I remember the first paragraph that I read and read until I memorized it (which is still logged away in my memory which I can recite at any place, any time).

The first time I listened to Lolita and heard those first words -- "Light of my life", etc. -- in that voice -- sexy, disturbing, filled with pain and passion - I was lost. And I didn't weep, but tears came to my eyes.

There was something about Jeremy Irons voice combined with Nabokov's words - it was perfect. This is what audio, spoken word, was meant to be.

Lolita, in book form and in audio form simply kills me.

Lolita is a love story, albeit a horrible and tragic one. Listening to Jeremy Irons read Nabokov's prose brings the humor, the tragedy, and the love and lust alive.

In this issue of Bold Type you'll find an extended reading of Lolita by Jeremy Irons and a print excerpt from this important work of art.

--Carrie Kania

Bold Type
  Photo of Vladimir Nabokov copyright © Jerry Bauer

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