The Enchanter

The Enchanter

by Vladimir Nabokov

Nabokov transforms his protagonist's attempts to lull his twelve-year-old step-daughter into a state of 'enchantment' into a graceful, chilling fairytale.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Fiction
  • Rating: 3.64
  • Pages: 114
  • Publish Date: July 20th 1991 by Vintage
  • Isbn10: 0679728864
  • Isbn13: 9780679728863

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The opening line of The Enchanter asks, "How can I come to terms with myself?" The Enchanter is an interesting and thoughtful work which should appeal to those who want more insight into the author of Lolita; it also serves as a nice introduction for those who haven't read Nabokov before.

In true P style, all that remains is to tell a 2000-word anecdote about my early years and in some wildly tangential way try to relate it to the novella.

You can't help but wonder what Nabokov Sr. would have done with it had he been the one to translate it to English, and you also can't help but wonder (and maybe draw some conclusions as to) why he didn't.

I read this in the library and so do not have any quotes to share. The Enchanter was rubbed out as the glimpse out of the first eye on the mother and the second on the bequest of a very small person. A 1987 review from The Guardian claims that the very small person does not have a name. "Claudia" floated into my review. So I have a name in doubt and no quotes but I have a memory like an idea of a rehearsed ballet performance before I float off into my own movements. Images of what desire must feel like and no life in my limbs. A mother who plans her death with a eulogy that would probably read like overhearing an elderly person detailing their cancer treatment to the cousin of their next door neighbor's florist. I want to blame the mother but she's already dead. Sometimes I don't know if I'm the ghost or the walls they pass through any time I read about someone "in love". Before The Enchanter I read Nabokov's last novel the satire of himself Look at the Harlequins! I personally thought it was not needed (although it is often quite clever, like the pleasure of a really good word game). So is this slight story (it is billed as a novella and reads like a short story. The Dimitri Nabokov translator's notes reminded me how I've been reading his short story collection for nearly two years. But then I don't want to have the stupor of a ballet dream. They could not have read that book, then.

Sure, the nameless female target of sexual lust is younger this time, 10 or 11, but dont let that stop you. Or you could make a case below this review that Nabokov had an unusual tendency to write about pre-pubescent gals. And then go write a review of how sick The Enchanter made you, if only to spare others the same assault against all that is good and pure and virginal in this world.

Seeing as Lolita is one of my favourite books of all-time, I couldn't wait to check out Nabokov's almost precursor to the classic novel.

I love Nabokov, and will always read Nabokov, in the form of a physical book. OK, that I understand, considering what the story is about, but this will remain my one and only audiobook.

5 stars for a book whose margins are now filled by my insightful literary analyses reading "creepy," "disturbing," "ewwwww," "gross," and even "that's really fucked up." This is the first half of Lolita in the making--no mere similarities, but exactly. Using such a term to describe Humbert Humbert is almost as unnerving and uncomfortable as following either character's perverse obsessions: and it is the book's power to so upset emotions (quite literally upset) that makes it 5 stars.

Este conto seria um esboço de Lolita, escrito em 1955, com o qual tem algumas semelhanças no enredo: um homem de quarenta anos obcecado por uma menina de doze.

Nabokov's Lolita (1955) is frequently cited as his most important novel, and is at any rate his most widely known one, exhibiting the love of intricate wordplay and descriptive detail that characterized all his works.