A couple of months ago, I ventured for the first time into the territory of literary pedophilia with Alyssa Nutting’s controversial novel Tampa. It did not go so well. As much as I understood the point of that exercise, I couldn’t appreciate it, drowning as I was in a sea of utter disgust. I was repulsed by Celeste and everything she said and did - not an unconventional reaction when all that your protagonist can talk about is having sex with children.
When I decided to acquaint myself with the infamous Humbert Humbert, I was equal parts wary and curious. Wary, because of all the Tampa/Lolita comparisons; curious, because I wanted to know what Nabokov had done differently to warrant the label of a classic and a slew of 5-star reviews.