Closing in on the last chapters of Lolita, the passionately obsessed Humbert, spurned by his lovely Lo, has sunk to the final depth, the true tragi-comic flaw, the spurned lover’s flaw (Humbert in his own perverse way loves Lolita), in his character — the inability to let go of the past.
Leaving Lolita behind, murder on his mind, he nears a town close to the motor inn the Enchanted Hunter, where he experiences the his first perverse bliss with his nymphet, and he finds himself “weeping again, drunk on the impossible past.”
Isn’t this where we all go when spurned by someone we love? We obsessively replay the past. Where did it all go wrong? How could it have gone better?
Humbert, of ocurse, is experiencing in full the dark side of Eros, the god’s cruel side, the dual fears of rejection and abandonment, fears that seem ingrained in our longing, lurking below surface of the joys of love, waiting to torpedo it.
Editor’s Note: This post has been written as part of Sunday Salon.