Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita
Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.
She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.
So begins one of the great novels of all time. Astonishingly, Nabokov maintains the poetic sensibility through 300+ pages. Even more astonishing, Lolita is but 11 years old. How he twisted this ugly brutal story of child molestation into a poetic rapturous novel is one of the wonders of the literary universe. Beware the pig in the poke, remember the cover belies the book, and though beauty may be skindeep it can infect the soul. Poor lost Lolita!