Vladimir Nabokov

Artwork From the First-Ever Illustrated Version of Vladimir Nabokov’s ‘Lolita’

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Last year, the New Republic celebrated the 60th anniversary of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita with a selection of mini-essays from women writers. The first of these, from debut novelist Alexandra Kleeman, offers a brilliant close reading of the novel’s first lines. After a fiery opening that seems to be addressed to Lolita, Kleeman writes, our narrator veers off, “leaving the reader uncertain whether he refers to the girl or to himself, or to the latter in the guise of the former.”
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50 Gripping Books to Read While Traveling

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Well, boys and girls, we’ve entered the season of travel. Whether you’re heading home or to a loved one’s (or, hey, to Key West with a hot date) for the holidays, you’ll likely need a gripping, plot-heavy book to while away the hours cramped on plane or train or automobile.
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20 Things You Didn’t Know About Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Lolita’

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In 1955, Vladimir Nabokov wrote about a predatory middle-aged literature professor who succumbs to his desires for the flesh and fancy of a 12-year-old girl he nicknames Lolita. The novel went on to become one of the most controversial works of the 20th century. A few years later, Stanley Kubrick directed the most successful adaptation of Lolita, despite naysayers who said it simply couldn’t be done. More than 50 years later, Kubrick’s film, starring Sue Lyon as the precocious girl, still gets people talking thanks to its stellar performances (Peter Sellers was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe) and, of course, Nabokov’s scintillating material. Here are 20 things you might not know about the film.
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50 Great Novels About Madness

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Not so much into March Madness? Well, perhaps you should look at it another way. March is the perfect month for reading books about madness — it is a transitional time, after all, possessed of both lion and lamb. Plus, you’ll have ample reading time, both outside and inside. The books herein, it should be noted, are those that deal with a kind of literary madness — obsession and absurdity and hallucination — not directly focusing on mental illness proper, whenever the two can be separated. So you won’t find The Bell Jar or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or The Yellow Wallpaper here, though those are all excellent …Read More

50 Books Guaranteed to Make You More Interesting

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Everybody out there could stand to be a little more interesting. Yes, even you, trilingual lion-tamer astrophysicist reader. And you know what makes you more interesting? Books, of course. (You knew it was going to be books, because you’re already a little interesting) But not just any books. Some books have more capacity to raise your interest level than others. Here’s a list of 50 books that will make you smarter, funnier, deeper, and yes, more interesting — at least to some …Read More

The 50 Sexiest Literary Villains

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In The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy, open-mouthed, says “I’ve never heard of a beautiful witch before,” Glinda famously quips that only bad witches are ugly. But ’tis not so — or at least, there are plenty of very bad witches who are the opposite of ugly: beautiful, sexy, charming, devastatingly intelligent, or all of the above. So, in honor of J.K. Rowling’s outrage that we all love Draco so much, here’s 50 villains that we wouldn’t kick out of …Read More

50 Books to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

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Happy New Year! Now get to work. Everyone loves a good resolution at this time of year, but in three weeks’ time? Whole different story. So what to do when your resolve is flagging and you need a little reminder of the shiny new self you promised past you? Well, you might try and take some inspiration from a good book. After all, the worst that can happen is that you’ll have gotten some quality literature under your belt, right? Here, you’ll find book prescriptions for ten worthy resolutions, from getting healthier to learning new skills to reading more poetry. Yes. You’re …Read More