Not everything on NPR is my cup of tea — does Susan Stamberg ramp up that smug chuckle of hers with every new year? — but I’m still reminded often enough of why I listen. Today: A report, on “Day to Day,” on the 50th anniversary of the publication of “Lolita.”
I guess everyone gets a few treats like this in a life: A chance to encounter a great work of art when you’re still a blank slate, before you’ve heard too much about it, before you’ve absorbed the official opinions of the culture. I can remember almost every one, but the best was “Lolita.”
If an education prepares you for anything, it should prepare you for a life of learning. And I learn something from “Lolita” every time I open it. It’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read; you can practically sing it. And then I close it, and think: English was Nabokov’s second language. Or maybe his third.
Think I’ll reread it this winter. It’s been a while.
Sorry for the lag these past couple days. I actually have work to do, and it’s interesting enough to keep me busy, and busy enough to feel like I have a real job ‘n’ stuff. So thrilling. So I may be scarce for the next few days, unless there’s another killer hurricane or whatnot.
Listen to that NPR piece, but only if you have already read the book. If not, read the book first.