This week’s longreads (week 34, 2013)

« There are at least three themes which are utterly taboo as far as most American publishers are concerned. [Besides Lolita,] the two others are: a Negro-White marriage which is a complete and glorious success resulting in lots of children and grandchildren; and the total atheist who lives a happy and useful life, and dies in his sleep at the age of 1o6. »

« Nothing is more exhilarating than philistine vulgarity. »

«But after all we are not children, not illiterate juvenile delinquents, not English public school boys who after a night of homosexual romps have to endure the paradox of reading the Ancients in expurgated versions. »

— Vladimir Nabokov, On a book entitled “Lolita”

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Laurie Penny, Of course all men don’t hate women…New Statesman, august 2013
DISCUSSED: semantic squabbling, rotting cauliflower, a wall of defensiveness, simple sexual equality

Laura Agustín, Prostitution Law and the Death of WhoresJacobin Magazine, august 2013
DISCUSSED: stigma and disqualification, prestige for helpers, how to manage the women, essentialist notions of morality, fixing sexual relations

Vladimir Nabokov,  On a book entitled “Lolita” – Encounter, april 1959
DISCUSSED: the copulation of clichés, æsthetic bliss, philistine vulgarity, a book as a constant comforting presence, les amours de milord grosvit, a second-rate brand of english

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