What I heard then was the melody of children at play. Nothing but that. And I knew that the hopelessly poignant thing was not Lolita's absence from my side, but the absence of her voice from that chorus.
Lolita is a 1955 novel written by Russian American novelist Vladimir Nabokov. The novel is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator—a middle-aged literature professor called Humbert Humbert—is obsessed with the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, with whom he becomes sexually involved after he becomes her stepfather. "Lolita" is his private nickname for Dolores. The novel was originally written in English and first published in Paris in 1955 by Olympia Press. Later it was translated into Russian by Nabokov himself and published in New York in 1967 by Phaedra Publishers.
Lolita是俄裔美籍小说家弗拉基米尔·纳博科夫于1955年所作。这部小说引人注目的原因在于其极具争议的主题：名为Humbert Humbert的中年文学教授，作为主角同时也是最不可信的事件叙述者，他疯狂的迷恋着12岁的Dolores Haze，并在成为她的继父以后与其发生性关系。私下里Humbert称Dolores为Lolita。小说原版是英语所著，首次经由奥林匹克出版社于1955年发布。继而纳博科夫自己将其翻译成了俄语并经由菲德拉出版商于1967年在纽约发布。
Three Act Word Play
At a superficial level, “Lolita” is a relatively straight-forward novel.
Once you know that it concerns sexual relations between 37 year old Humbert Humbert and 12 year old Dolores “Lolita” Hayes, you just about know the plot.
你如果只是知道这部小说讲述的是一个37岁的老男人Humbert Humbert和12岁的小女孩Dolores “Lolita” Hayes之间的情欲关系时，那么你只是单单知道情节而已。
There’s a beginning, a middle and an end.
A grooming, a consummation, an aftermath.
Nabokov makes of his material a three act play.
And he does so playfully, seductively, lyrically, charmingly, amusingly, dangerously.
To this day, I cannot look at Humbert’s initials “H.H.” without pronouncing them in German, “Ha Ha”, and wondering whether the joke is on us.
现在看到Humbert Humbert姓名的首字母“H.H.”我就不免想用德语念出来，发音出来就是“Ha Ha”（好像在讥讽我们）或许我们才是真正的笑话。
Beneath the skin of the novel, there is much more.
There is a whole complex living organism.
You can lose yourself within its arms for days, weeks, months, a lifetime.
As long as your love of wordplay, your love of words and play, will permit you.
Again, at a superficial level, there is an almighty conflict between morality and aesthetics happening between the pages.
Whether or not Nabokov deliberately put the conflict there, he put the subject matter there.
We, the readers, can supply our own conflict in the way we read his novel.
Nabokov knew the subject matter would inflame us, if not our desires, then at least our morals, our sense of righteousness.
Morality and aesthetics are intertwined within the fabric of the novel.
They embrace each other in one long death roll, just like Humbert Humbert and Clare Quilty.
像Humbert Humbert和Clare Quilty一样，他们终究无法相容。
We watch their interaction, open-mouthed, open-minded, but ultimately they have to be pulled apart or separated.
When they meet,they are one.
（这两种Morality and aesthetics）相遇便合二为一。
When they are apart, they are each other’s double.
The Morality of the Story
There is no doubt that sexual relations between an adult and a minor are not just immoral, but criminal as well.
That is an unquestionable fact.
From a legal point of view, the motive of the adult is irrelevant to the proof of the crime.
The consent of the minor is irrelevant to the proof of the crime.
If Humbert had been charged with an offence of sexual relations with a minor, he would have had no legal defence.
Any question as to whether Lolita really seduced Humbert would have been irrelevant.
In fact, the evidence might not even have been admissible, except potentially as part of the determination of the penalty.
In other words, even if it was relevant to penalty, it was not relevant to guilt.
Because morality is a social construct that depends on collective endorsement, he had no moral defence either.
The personal views of the individual are not really that relevant to society’s determination that an act is immoral.
The choice of the individual is to comply or offend.
Of Traps and Cages
Humbert offended not just once, but untold numerous times over two years.
He carefully planned his seduction, he set his trap, he caught his prey, even if someone might want to argue that this 12 year old seductress walked voluntarily into the trap.
Having freed Lolita from the trap, he imprisoned her in a cage, and repeated his crime.
Again, someone could argue that she had plenty of opportunities to flee the cage (which she eventually did).
But Humbert surrounded Lolita with an elaborate system of self-doubt that convinced her that she would become a ward of the state if they were found out.
小结：这段书评很中肯值得深究，不过在研读的时候还是发现自己的修行不够，很多地方不大能理解，希望大家多多指错，多提出自己的想法。Three Act Word Play可否有人科普~
a ward of the state 政府监管
be relevent to与……有关
be irrelevant to与……无关
The proof of the pudding is in the eating.空谈不如实践