Il gioco ambiguo di Lolita nello scontro di civiltà

Stefania Ridolfo


Lolita is not only the prototype of the modern nymph but also an important symbol for the various implications that her controversial relationship with Humbert can assume. Starting from this consideration, it is possible to trace one of the poetic-cognitive declinations that Nabokov’s nymph assumes in a post-modern key in Azar Nafisi’s novel Reading Lolita in Tehran (2003), in which Lolita becomes the symbol of all the women of Tehran, victims of a fundamentalist and totalitarian regime, whose freedom has been stolen as a function of a forced approval that annuls them and makes them extraneous to themselves. The ambiguous victim-perpetrator relationship that binds Lolita and Humbert thus becomes the symbolic referent of the conflict between two increasingly distinct and irreconcilable political, cultural and religious dimensions: East and West. This clash of civilizations is also renegotiated in Alan Ball’s movie No Veil for Jasira (2007), particularly in the controversial relationship between Mr. Vuoso, an American male model, and Jasira, a young Lolita from Middle Eastern origin. Once again, here as in Nabokov’s Lolita, the judgment remains suspended between the faults of the adult and the mischief of the charming young girl. Just as remains pending the relationship between East and West, two politically, economically, and culturally opposed but, after all, not so different blocks.


Cognitive Poetics; Postmodern Nymph; Lolita; Reading Lolita in Teheran; No Veil for Jasira

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