Finally I own a copy of Lolita.
When we were buying books for the Library in Chennai, I had looked around for a cheap edition of Lolita. We bought one for the library, of course, but I had wanted one for myself, but there were no cheap Indian editions.
Today waiting for someone, I decided to browse a book store I frequent, a book store now which I like more because it was a very small part of the only lunch date I have ever been to, and there I spotted an edition of Lolita by Penguin. Don’t imagine the ones with glossy covers. This one has the classical green and white Penguin cover and cheap brownish paper inside. But it’s worth it. The typeface is good with sharp contrast between the text and background paper and is something I would not mind looking often at.
Only yesterday I had to borrow two short phrases from the book and had wished I could sink into the first few pages of it. Today I have the book, but the mood is not there! This is what having a girl friend does to you. It replaces your lousy loser of a world full of all sorts of abstract crap with real life experiences so that you don’t have to turn to books to feel that you are alive!
There are some books that you want to read for their sheer beauty, and Lolita is one of them. As you move into the book, you find the language is slightly dated (my next complete reading will be from an annotated edition), but the beauty holds on to you even though you don’t understand the word. And the book gives expressions to some of the things I have always wanted to articulate.
I remember taking refuge in Lolita twice before. When I read the first few pages of Bridges of Madison County (and then put it down. It doesn’t deserve to be called a book in the sense of a work of fiction. I could have written it when I was a teenager and didn’t know how to portray intimacy between two people. Though you could say I still don’t know it! :)), I felt so awful when the nameless woman tells the hero that there is something mysterious about him that she can’t seem to grasp, that I had to read two other books to get over the nausea of having read such a thing.
I read Lolita and An Equal Music. From Lolita I read the account of Humber Humbert’s loneliness and his perversion. From “An Equal Music” I read the depressing account of Michael waking up into her student’s pink room.
I don’t share his sickness of pink, but then I am not a middle aged depressed musician who can’t get over the love he pushed away with his own hands. My room is all pink, though probably my mom is to be blamed for that.
Anyway. Books are sometimes important that way. For years I had been looking for a substitute for the expression functionally incapable. I had to come up with that almost five years back when I had to speak in English for the first time to explain my agnostic stand against God! I kept looking for a better expression, and last year I found it in two books within the same week! I read The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld and Kundera’s Laughable Loves back to back, and both the books had the expression constitutionally incapable. :)
Exams are on and they keep me busy these days. Among other things, I took a different route to the park for the evening walk and came right across a marble (or at least stone that looks like marble derivative) statue of a naked woman with thoughtful welcoming gestures which highlights her firm round breasts and erect nipples! And this one is supposedly a family park! How hypocritical are we as a society?!
I like my life at this point of time. Exams I don’t have to worry about. Decent food that I like to eat. Time to work on things I like. Books all around and discovering some new music. Movies every once in a while when I make the effort. A girl friend who won’t let me pay the bills! What else could I ask for?! :D