so… I heard about the Aurora, Colorado shootings and it took me a bit to click to the fact that my brother in law and his family live in Aurora! I got to thinking about how I’d feel to get the news that: “If Holmes were to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, or if his attorneys were to argue that he is incompetent to stand trial, proceedings could stretch for years — perhaps indefinitely.” (from msnbc news) Personally, I’d be pretty hostile in the jury box. Among those killed was a six year old girl. How do they find an impartial jury for someone who’s killed mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, etc? The only good news is that he will stand trial on one side of the veil or the other.
Then I was reading “Reading Lolita in Tehran.” I don’t know what I was expecting from this book, but was not prepared for the story of Lolita. Don’t get me wrong, the memoir itself is excellent (as evidenced by its many, many weeks on the bestseller lists and does not need my endorsement) but since I’ve never read Lolita although I had certainly heard the title before, I wasn’t prepared. Wikipedia summarizes this first section of the memoir fairly well (as far as I’ve read it seems to at any rate). “The title refers to Vladimir Nabokov‘s novel, Lolita, a story about a middle aged man who has a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old pubescent girl. The book ‘Lolita’ is used by the author as a metaphor for life in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Although the book states that the metaphor is not allegorical (p. 35) Nafisi does want to draw parallels between “victim and jailer” (p. 37). The author implies that, like the principal character in ‘Lolita’, the regime in Iran imposes their “dream upon our reality, turning us into his figments of imagination.” In both cases, the protagonist commits the “crime of solipsizing another person`s life.” My husband made a really great point when we were briefly discussing Reading Lolita. Why is it that a promiscuous girl can be called a “Lolita” and yet dirty older men aren’t called “Humbert?” Poor Dolores (Lolita) got the raw end of that deal. I was surprised to find there were a couple movies made of the book as well.
solipsizing – yeah, I had to look that one up. (solipsism: the theory that only the self exists or can be proved to exist.) I love learning new words. Even those I will probably never use again!
So, after the shootings and then the really depressing beginning of Reading Lolita, I thought perhaps I should move on to reading children’s books or at least something lighter once I finish this… This Saturday I’m going to attempt to gather some women folk to talk about their favorite book(s), or at least books that were important or deeply moved them.
Next month was supposed to be “Following Atticus” but seeing as I already borrowed that from the library and buzzed through it, I’m thinking I’ll have to try something else. Perhaps I’ll try to track down Nora Roberts “Calhoun Women” series set in Maine.