Chasing Lolita, How Popular Culture Corrupted Nabokov’s Little Girl All Over Again

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In the summer of 1958, a 12-year-old girl took the world by storm–“Lolita” was published in the United States–and since then, her name has been taken in vain to serve a wide range of dubious ventures, both artistic and commercial. Offering a full consideration of not only “the Lolita effect” but shifting attitudes toward the mix of sex, children, and popular entertainment from Victorian times to the present, this study explores the movies, theatrical shows, literary spin-offs, artifacts, fashion, art, photography, and tabloid excesses that have distorted Lolita’s identity with an eye toward some real-life cases of young girls who became the innocent victims of someone else’s obsession–unhappy sisters to one of the most affecting heroines in fiction. New insight is provided into the brief life of Lolita and into her longer afterlives as well.

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