Friday, 29 October 2010
That's a pretty controversial book cover. It's definitely a child. Not a child dressing up but a child as a child and then to read a book where the man is obsessed with this child, Lolita, we're on dangerous territory. I've seen a movie adaptation of Lolita, I've read a little from the book. The books I admire are Anneke Jacob's As She's Told, not just when I'm feeling naughty, books that push because they're written by people who are talented, not just vomiting out sentences for shock value like that Marie Claire bitch (google it).
Only last week there was a photoshoot of two young women from Glee which caused controversy. And it only took a shot of one placing her hand on the other's clothed arse to have some people shouting. I'm completely against homophobia. To me, you can call it outrage at two "young girls" (the actresses are both in their twenties) but I say if you have a problem with one woman's hand on the other's arse, you're a homophobe, the kind who thinks it's not appropriate to have any kind of homosexuality on tv before watershed. Well excuse them for not being straight fine upstanding citizens in your eyes. What will upset your high standards next? Perhaps the fact it's okay to have Natalie Portman in a movie where she's how old, five,?, holding a gun but it's sensationalist to see her kiss another woman when she's nearly 30 now probably.
The rest of the Glee photoshoot had jock with a heart Finn in the middle of the colourful, candy, yes Lolita esque type of photoshoot. But someone said there is a difference between the Lolita thing and paedophilia and a difference between a woman dressing up in knee high socks and a young girl..and a man who isn't a closet paedophile should be able to differentiate. I have newfound respect when I read the late Kurt Cobain replied to the record company when they asked him to erase the privates of the baby in the water on Nevermind, to put a sticker over the privates saying that if this offends you must be a closet paedophile.
And, the jock from Glee was fully clothed whereas the women weren't and apparently it's equality between the sexes when the men are undressed too. Uh huh.
There's not one erotica book I have read which doesn't have an element of taboo. Sex, desire, and why limit it to fantasy if it's between two consenting adults, I'll come on to the adult word in a minute, is not politically correct. I would much rather read a book that pushes me than one which is merely just arousing.
Have you heard about a movie called Great Balls of Fire? Dennis Quaid plays Jerry Lee Lewis who did that famous song, you'll know when you hear those words, and Winona Ryder plays the young girl he marries. She was his "first cousin once removed" but the point I am making is she was 15 and it caused a scandal. He was 23. That're pretty huge right there, enough to make people shriek but had he been 33, it would have added shriek. I don't know their relationship, perhaps she was like the character Lolita, perhaps she was even the opposite. Whether I think this is right or wrong depends on things which I don't know about those two.
But I know Lolita from the book and movie. I know the first time the man Humbert sees her and what he describes. I know he uses the words nymphets and childlike. And I know some people will cry over what they haven't yet read. Right. Wrong. This is freedom of expression. Vladimir Nobokov had written a book about obsession and his beautiful articulation drew me in. So I don't particularly care about right and wrong in a book. And, if Nobokov was more like Humbert than we'll ever know, then I won't defend him but I won't demand society shouldn't know about Lolita. It's one of those books that sort of makes me even more alive.