Having recently arrived in America where so many Europeans have found a haven before, I decided to spend a peaceful summer in the attractive resort town of Ramsdale, New Hampshire. Some English translations I have made of French poetry had enjoyed some success and I had been appointed to a lectureship at Beardsley College in the fall. Friends had given me several addresses in Ramsdale where lodgings were available for the summer.
What drives me insane is the twofold nature of this nymphet, a veteran nymphet perhaps, this mixture in my Lolita of tender, dreamy childishness and a kind of eerie vulgarity. I know it is madness to keep this journal, but it gives me a strange thrill to do so. And only a loving wife could decipher my microscopic script.
The wedding was a quiet affair. And when called upon to enjoy my promotion from lodger to lover, did I experience only bitterness and distaste? No. Mr. Humbert confesses to a certain titillation of his vanity, to some faint tenderness, even to a pattern of remorse, daintily running along the steel of his conspiratorial dagger.
Even in the most harmonious households such as ours, not all the decisions are taken by the female. Especially when the male partner has fulfilled his obligations beyond the line of duty. When you wanted me to spend one afternoon sun-bathing by the lake, I was glad to become the bronze, glamour boy for your sake, instead of remaining the scholar. Even there, I'd scoot along after you like an obliging little lap dog -- oh yes, I'm happy, I'm delighted to be bossed by you, but -- every game has its rules.
She splashed in the tub, a trustful, clumsy seal. And oh, the logic of passion screamed in my ear. Now is the time, but...what d'ya know, folks? I just couldn't make myself do it! The scream grew more and more remote, and I realized the melancholy fact that neither tomorrow nor Friday nor any other day or night could I make myself put her to death.
Charlotte, there's a man on the line who says that you've been hit by a car.
You must now forget Ramsdale and push our lot and poor Lolita and poor Humbert, and accompany us to Beardsley College where my lectureship in French poetry is in its second semester. Six months have passed and Lolita is attending an excellent school where it is my hope that she will be persuaded to read other things than comic books and movie romances.
Our little starlet has had enough excitement for one evening...I wouldn't want you to miss any more piano lessons! You know what I'm talking about!
The brakes were relined, the waterpipes unclogged, the valves ground. We had promised Beardsley School that we would be back as soon as my Hollywood engagement came to an end. Inventive Humbert was to be, I hinted, chief consultant in the production of a film dealing with existentialism, still a hot thing at the time. I cannot tell you the exact day when I first knew with utter certainty that a strange car was following us. Queer how I misinterpreted the designation of doom.
'Fraid somebody's gonna steal your ideas and sell 'em to Hollywood, huh?
Let go of me! You're hurting my arm! You let me go, you jerk! Let go of me!...You've got a big fat nerve dragging me away like that!...Who the heck do you think you are - not letting me go to my cast party? I wish the police do come in here. You creep!
Listen, I've decided something...I want to leave school...I don't want you to be mad at me anymore. Everything's gonna be great from now on...I hate school and I hate the play. I really do. I never want to go back...Let's leave tomorrow. We can go for a long trip and we'll go wherever I want to, won't we?
Dear Dad, How's everything? I have gone through much sadness and hardship. I'm married. I'm going to have a baby. I'm going nuts because we don't have enough to pay our debts and get out of here. Please send us a check.
I'm afraid you'll have to excuse my appearance, but you caught me on ironing day. Do come in. Gee, you're looking marvelous...I wrote to you about a week ago. I was beginning to think maybe you were sore or something. I must say, I wouldn't blame you if you were. It's a fine thing me dropping out of sight for so long and then writing you for a handout.
Oh M'sieur, if what you're needing is peace and quiet, I can assure you you couldn't get more peace anywhere, ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.
We can go home now and have a cozy little dinner partout, huh?
It's only natural and healthy that she should take an interest in those fascinating creatures known as the opposite sex.
That miserable little brat. She is becoming impossible. Simply impossible. The idea! The idea of her sneaking back here and spying on us...She's always been a spiteful little pest, since the age of one. Do you know, she kept throwing her toys, her toys out of her crib so that I would have to keep stooping over to pick them up? She has always had some kind of gripe against me. Now, now she sees herself as some kind of a starlet. Well, I see her as a sturdy, healthy, but decidedly homely child. Is it my fault if I feel young? Why should my child resent it? You don't resent it, do you? Do you think I'm just a foolish, romantic American girl?
I forbid you to disturb Professor Humbert again. He is a writer and he is not to be disturbed!
'This is a confession. I love you. Last Sunday in church, my dear one, when I asked the Lord what to do about it, I was told to act as I am acting now. You see, there is no alternative. I have loved you from the minute I saw you. I am a passionate and lonely woman. And you are the love of my life. Now you know. So you will please at once pack and leave. This is a landlady's order. I am dismissing the lodger. I am kicking you out. Go! Scram! Departez! I shall be back by dinnertime. I do not wish to find you in the house. You see, cherie, if you decided to stay, if I found you at home, which I know I won't, and that's why I'm able to go on like this, the fact of your remaining would only mean one thing. That you ... (He begins to hysterically and uncontrollably burst out laughing with a fiendish sound), that you want me as much as I do you, as a life-long mate. And you are ready to link up your life with mine forever and ever and be a father to my little girl. Goodbye, dear one, pray for me, if you've ever prayed.'
The Haze woman...the cow...the obnoxious Mama...the brainless baba...Well, the stupid Haze is no longer your dupe....You're a monster. You're a disgusting, despicable, loathsome...fraud. Get out of my way...I'm leaving here today. You can have all of it. But you are never gonna see that miserable brat again!
Harold, look what happened! I was disloyal to you. I couldn't help it, though. Seven years is a very long time. Why did you go and die on me?! I didn't know anything about life. I was very young. If you hadn't died, all this wouldn't have happened. Oh, darling, forgive me. Forgive me. You were the soul of integrity. How did we produce such a little beast? I promise, I promise, I promise you that I'll know better next time. Next time, it's gonna be somebody you'll be very proud of.
Dr. Hombards, would you mind if I am putting to you a blunt qvestion?...We are vundering if anybody instructed Lolita in the vacts of life?...You zee, Lolita is a sweet little child, but the onset of maturity seems to be giving her a certain amount of trouble...Dr. Hombards, to you she's still za liddle girl what is cradled in zee arms. But to dose boys over dare at Beardsley High she is a lovely girl, you know, mit mit mit mit mit de sving, you know, und zat jazz. She has got a curvature zat zat they take a lot of notice of. You and I - vat are we? Vee are the symbols of power sitting in our offices there. We are making za signatures, writing za contracts, the decisions all za time. What if we cast our minds back? Just zink, what were we only yesterday?...I have some other details which I should like to put to you.
Dr. Hombards - here, she is defiant...she sighs a gud deal in the class. She sighs, makes the zounds of 'uh-UHHHH!' Chews gum vehemently, alls the time is chewing dis gum, handles books gracefully, that's all right, doesn't really matter. Voice is pleasant. Giggles rathzer often and iz excitable. She giggles at things. A little dreamy. Conzentration is poor. She-she looks at a book for a while and then getza fed up with it. Has private jokes of her own which noone understands so they can't enjoy them mit her. She either has exceptional control or she has no control at all. We cannot decide which. Added to that - just yesterday, uh, Dr. Hombards, wrote a most obscene vord with her lipstick, if you please, on the health pamphlets. And so, in our opinion, she's suffering from acute repression of the libido of zee natural instincts.
Vee Amerikans, vee are progressive and modern. Vee believe that it is equally important to prepare the pupils for the mutually satisfactory mating and the successful child rearing - that is vhat we believe...I am suggesting that Dr. Cutler, who is the district psychologist vith the board of education should visit you in the home mit his three-member board of psychologists. And vonce they're in the home, they can investigate thoroughly in the home situation, with all four of them...So they can get straight at the sourze of the repression...I'm afraid that, uh, you may have no choice. Cigarette?