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Image provided by Kevin Elliott

Kevin Elliott

Affiliation with UVic English: Graduate Student, MA 2013

Special Book: Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

When did you first read this book: 2007, for pleasure during my freshman year in university.

Which sentence from this book has special significance for you?

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.”

What does the sentence mean to you?

It was Nabokov who spurred in me a love of words and especially ecstatic writing, and these beautiful opening lines from his famous novel were my first introduction to him. Overabundant adverbs, endless alliterative sentences, seemingly random such-and-such French asides, constant frivolous wordplay: is any of it “proper” writing? No, but I don’t care. Only Nabokov can create a story about incestual pedophilia and mould it into one of the greatest romances of the modern era, all thanks to a vast love affair with the English language. It’s the kind of book with which you want to cuddle between your legs during sleep. Why is that meaningful to me? Because such a book as that changes who you are as a person at the core; I confess, I am a converted small-r romantic, in every sense.

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