Re: RARA-AVIS: RE : Lolita and noir

From: Patrick King (
Date: 23 Feb 2007

DJ Wrote: Uh, isn't one of the uses of comedy to undermine sensibilities?
******** Uh, sure, but Lolita is not consistently a funny book. There's some light humor there to take the edge off a pretty creepy tale of a man who marries a woman to get close to her 14-year-old daughter, then drives his wife passive/aggressively to suicide so he can do what he wants with the child. Caldwell, Twain, Wodehouse are funny and thought provoking. The humor is Lolita has to be mined like diamonds. It cretainly is thought-provoking, however... and noir!

Patrick King
--- wrote:

> Patrick wrote:
> "Personally, I think people who want to pigeonhole
> Lolita as a 'funny
> book' are embarrassed by the fact that Nabakov used
> Lolita to undermine
> his readers' sensibilities.'"
> Uh, isn't one of the uses of comedy to undermine
> sensibilities? In
> fact, that's one of the reasons humor is so
> culturally specific, because
> it depends upon at least tweaking, if not breaking,
> a culture's
> ideology. And boy did I not get the sense from
> Richard and the others
> that thought Lolita was funny that they thought the
> funniness in any way
> undercut its greatness, quite the opposite
> Bringing it closer to home, much of Willeford is
> laugh out loud funny.
> And then you start thinking about some of the things
> you're laughing at
> -- humor that makes you think, and sometimes
> confront the values of your
> culture and yourself.
> Mark

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