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Lolita Quotes From The Controversial Novel

Enjoy reading these Lolita quotes from the controversial novel that’s regarded as one of the greatest works of literature.

Lolita is a controversial 1955 novel written by Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov. The novel portrays the sexual assault of a 12-year-old American girl named Dolores Haze.

Humbert Humbert, the pseudonym for the middle-aged French literature professor, grooms and rapes Dolores after he becomes her stepfather. Humbert calls Dolores “Lolita” in private.

There are many Lolita quotes that seem like they should be about love. However, Humbert, believing he feels this romantic love for “Lolita” is disturbing.

The novel begins with a fictitious foreword by John Ray Jr., who identifies himself as an editor of psychology books. He states that the work we are about to read is a memoir written by a man using the pseudonym “Humbert Humbert.”

He explains the author had recently died of heart disease while awaiting a murder trial in jail. It had been Humbert’s request that his memoir not be released to the public until his death.

The reader is then plunged into the story, as told through the eyes of Humbert. Keep reading these Lolita quotes to learn more.

Don’t forget to also check out these Slaughterhouse 5 quotes about the sci-fi anti-war novel.

Heartfelt and sad Lolita quotes

1. “He broke my heart. You merely broke my life.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

2. “I shall be dumped where the weed decays, and the rest is rust and stardust.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

3. “And presently I was driving through the drizzle of the dying day, with the windshield wipers in full action but unable to cope with my tears.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

4. Perhaps, somewhere, someday, at a less miserable time, we may see each other again. ― Vladimir Nabokov

5. “Oh, don’t cry, I’m so sorry I cheated so much, but that’s the way things are.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

6. “A change of environment is the traditional fallacy upon which doomed loves, and lungs, rely.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

7. “And the most poignant thing was not Lolita’s absence from my side, but the absence of her voice from the chorus.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

8. “I am trying to describe these things not to relive them in my present boundless misery, but to sort out the portion of hell and the portion of heaven in that strange, awful, maddening world nymphet love.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

9. “You see, she had absolutely nowhere else to go.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

10. “Despite our tiffs, despite her nastiness, despite all the fuss and faces she made, and the vulgarity, and the danger, and the horrible hopelessness of it all, I still dwelled deep in my elected paradise―a paradise whose skies were the color of hell-flames―but still a paradise.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

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Disturbing Lolita quotes from the novel

11. “It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

12. “I knew I had fallen in love with Lolita forever, but I also knew she would not be forever Lolita.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

13. “We loved each other with a premature love, marked by a fierceness that so often destroys adult lives. I was a strong lad and survived, but the poison was in the wound, and the wound remained ever open.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

14. “All at once we were madly, clumsily, shamelessly, agonizingly in love with each other…” ― Vladimir Nabokov

15. “And I looked and looked at her, and knew as clearly as I know I am to die, that I loved her more than anything I had ever seen or imagined on earth, or hoped for anywhere else.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

16. “And she was mine, she was mine; the key was in my fist, my fist was in my pocket, she was mine.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

17. “My solemn exasperation was to her the silence of love.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

18. “I broke her spell by incarnating her in another.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

19. “But in my arms she was always Lolita.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

20. “I loved you. I was a pentapod monster, but I loved you. I was despicable and brutal, and turpid, and everything, mais Je t’aimais, Je t’aimais!” ― Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita quotes about life

21. “Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

22. “Life is short. From here to that old car you know so well there is a stretch of twenty, twenty-five paces. It is a very short walk. Make those twenty-five steps. Now. Right now. Come just as you are. And we shall live happily ever after.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

23. “We live not only in a world of thoughts but also in a world of things.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

24. “You know, what’s so dreadful about dying is that you are completely on your own.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

25. “Life is just one small piece of light between two eternal darkness.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

26. “Although I could never get used to the constant state of anxiety in which the guilty, the great, and the tenderhearted live, I felt I was doing my best in the way of mimicry.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

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27. “It occurred to me that I had a fine brain in beautiful working order and that I might as well use it.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

28. “It is easy for him and me to decipher now a past destiny; but a destiny in the making is, believe me, not one of those honest mystery stories where all you have to do is keep an eye on the clues.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

29. “There he stood, in the camouflage of sun and shade, disfigured by them and masked by his own nakedness.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

30. “While a few pertinent points have to be marked, the general impression I desire to convey is of a side door crashing open in life’s full flight, and a rush of roaring black time drowning with its whipping wind the cry of lone disaster.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

Insightful Lolita quotes about words, reading, and writing

31. “I need you, the reader, to imagine us, for we don’t really exist if you don’t.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

32. “You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

33. “Words without experience are meaningless.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

34. “I see nothing for the treatment of my misery but the melancholy and very local palliative of articulate art.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

35. “This, to use an American term in which discovery, retribution, torture, death, eternity appear in the shape of a singularly repulsive nutshell, was it.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

36. “Emphatically, no killers are we. Poets never kill.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

37. “I have often noticed that we are inclined to endow our friends with the stability of type that literary characters acquire in the reader’s mind.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

38. “Whatever evolution this or that popular character has gone through between the book covers, his fate is fixed in our minds, and, similarly, we expect our friends to follow this or that logical and conventional pattern we have fixed for them.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

39. “Thus, neither of us is alive when the reader opens this book. But while the blood still throbs through my writing hand, you are still as much part of blessed matter as I am, and I can still talk to you from here to Alaska.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

Short Lolita quotes that are impactful despite being of few words

40. “Never rude, always aloof.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

41. “Solitude was corrupting me.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

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42. “Don’t touch me; I’ll die if you touch me.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

43. “I was a daisy fresh girl and look what you’ve done to me.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

44. “Nowadays you have to be a scientist if you want to be a killer.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

45. “I am not, and never was, and never could have been, a brutal scoundrel.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

46. “I discovered there was an endless source of robust enjoyment in trifling with psychiatrists.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

47. “I felt my life needed a shake-up.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

48. “The gin kept my heart alive but bemazed my brain.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

49. “After all, there is no harm in smiling.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

50. “No man can bring about the perfect murder; chance, however, can do it.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

What did you learn from these Lolita quotes?

Humbert tries to provide several justifications for his behavior. First, he explains how his childhood friend and first love died tragically and that is the reason he is attracted to girls around the age of 9-14. He meets Dolores when he goes to rent a room from a local widow.

Some time goes by and the widow, Dolores’ mother, Charlotte falls in love with him. She gives him the ultimatum to marry her or move out. He decides this is the perfect way to remain close and groom Dolores.

However, his plans are foiled when Charlotte discovers his diary and confronts him. He claims that it is a draft for a future novel, but Charlotte does not believe him and plans to flee.

Unfortunately on her way to retrieve Dolores from camp she is killed in a car accident. This leaves Humbert as Dolores’ guardian. He plans to drug and rape her at a hotel, but the drugs do not work as well as he thought and Dolores is awake. She says that she already lost her virginity which he uses to justify his desires.

She is ultimately abducted by another man who wants her to star in pornographic films. A few years go by and he receives a letter stating she is married and pregnant and needs help. When he learns of the other man who took her, he is enraged and kills him.

The book, while controversial has been called one of the greatest works of literature. Have you read it? What’s your biggest takeaway from these Lolita quotes and sayings? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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