Professor Humbert quotes

[voiceover] Having recently arrived in America where so many Europeans have found a haven before, I decided to spend a peaceful summer in the attractive resort town of Ramsdale, New Hampshire. Some English translations I have made of French poetry had enjoyed some success and I had been appointed to a lectureship at Beardsley College in the fall. Friends had given me several addresses in Ramsdale where lodgings were available for the summer.

[voiceover] What drives me insane is the twofold nature of this nymphet, a veteran nymphet perhaps, this mixture in my Lolita of tender, dreamy childishness and a kind of eerie vulgarity. I know it is madness to keep this journal, but it gives me a strange thrill to do so. And only a loving wife could decipher my microscopic script.

[voiceover] The wedding was a quiet affair. And when called upon to enjoy my promotion from lodger to lover, did I experience only bitterness and distaste? No. Mr. Humbert confesses to a certain titillation of his vanity, to some faint tenderness, even to a pattern of remorse, daintily running along the steel of his conspiratorial dagger.

[to Charlotte] Even in the most harmonious households such as ours, not all the decisions are taken by the female. Especially when the male partner has fulfilled his obligations beyond the line of duty. When you wanted me to spend one afternoon sun-bathing by the lake, I was glad to become the bronze, glamour boy for your sake, instead of remaining the scholar. Even there, I'd scoot along after you like an obliging little lap dog -- oh yes, I'm happy, I'm delighted to be bossed by you, but -- every game has its rules.

[voiceover] She splashed in the tub, a trustful, clumsy seal. And oh, the logic of passion screamed in my ear. Now is the time, but...what d'ya know, folks? I just couldn't make myself do it! The scream grew more and more remote, and I realized the melancholy fact that neither tomorrow nor Friday nor any other day or night could I make myself put her to death.

Charlotte, there's a man on the line who says that you've been hit by a car.

[voiceover] You must now forget Ramsdale and push our lot and poor Lolita and poor Humbert, and accompany us to Beardsley College where my lectureship in French poetry is in its second semester. Six months have passed and Lolita is attending an excellent school where it is my hope that she will be persuaded to read other things than comic books and movie romances.

[to Lolita] Our little starlet has had enough excitement for one evening...I wouldn't want you to miss any more piano lessons! You know what I'm talking about!

[voiceover] The brakes were relined, the waterpipes unclogged, the valves ground. We had promised Beardsley School that we would be back as soon as my Hollywood engagement came to an end. Inventive Humbert was to be, I hinted, chief consultant in the production of a film dealing with existentialism, still a hot thing at the time. I cannot tell you the exact day when I first knew with utter certainty that a strange car was following us. Queer how I misinterpreted the designation of doom.

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