Lolita

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This book is intended to provide help for students studying the novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. It contains links to websites and reviews on this Novel, a guide to the French used in the novel, and any other material which might be helpful in better understanding this novel.

Guide to Vocabulary (incomplete)[edit]

  • Foreword
    • Preambulates: To walk before.
    • Coronary thrombosis: A blood clot inside the heart vessels; a type of heart attack.
    • Solecism: Any error, impropriety, or inconsistency.
    • Tenacious: Characterized by keeping a firm hold.
    • Cognomen: Surname; nickname.
    • Sordid: Depraved; ignoble; morally base.
    • Exasperatingly: To irritate or provoke to a high degree; annoy extremely.
    • Etiolated: To cause to become weakened or sickly; drain of color or vigour.
    • Platitudinous: Characterized by platitudes; dull, flat, or trite.
    • Robust: Strong; healthy; hardy.
    • Philistine: A person who is lacking in or hostile or smugly indifferent to cultural values, intellectual pursuits, aesthetic refinement, etc., or is contentedly commonplace in ideas and tastes.
    • Banal: Devoid of freshness or originality.
    • Qualm: An uneasy feeling or pang of conscience as to conduct; compunction.
    • Prude: A person who is excessively proper or modest in speech, conduct, dress, etc.
    • Aphrodisiac: An agent that arouses sexual desire.
    • Apotheosis: The ideal example; epitome; quintessence.
    • Abject: Utterly hopeless, miserable, humiliating, or wretched; contemptible; despicable.
    • Jocularity: Characterized by joking.
    • Conducive: Contributive; helpful; favourable.
    • Capricious: Subject to, led by, or indicative of whim; prone to changing one’s mind without notice.
    • Tendresse: Tender feeling; fondness.
    • Expiatory: able to make atonement or restitution.
    • Poignant: Profoundly moving; touching; keen or strong in mental and/or emotional appeal.
    • Potent: Powerful; mighty
  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
    • Peripheral: unimportant
    • Plurality: many
    • Solipsism: The theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified.
    • Imbibe: To take in
    • Assimilate: To incorporate
    • Paroxysm: A random or sudden outburst
    • Opalescent: Exhibiting a milky iridescence like that of an opal.
    • Rampart: A defensive structure; a protective barrier; a bulwark.
    • Staid: Serious, organized, and professional; sober
    • Ribald: Coarsely, vulgarly or lewdly humorous
    • Typhus: One of several similar diseases caused by Rickettsiae bacteria. Not to be confused with typhoid fever.
  • Chapter 11
    • Fakir: A Muslim (or, loosely, a Hindu) religious ascetic who lives solely on alms.
    • Heliotropic: The diurnal motion or seasonal motion of plant parts (flowers or leaves) in response to the direction of the sun.
    • Meretricious: Apparently attractive but having in reality no value or integrity; of, relating to, or characteristic of a prostitute.
    • Favonian: Of or relating to the west wind; mild.
    • Phocine: Of, relating to, or affecting the true (earless) seals.
    • Nates: Buttocks.
    • Stipple: (in drawing, painting, and engraving) mark (a surface) with numerous small dots or specks.
    • Dolor: A state of great sorrow or distress
    • Nacreous: Possessing the qualities of, consisting of, or abounding in nacre (mother-of-pearl); also iridescent
    • Nictate: Blink
    • Madrigal: A part-song for several voices, especially one of the Renaissance period, typically arranged in elaborate counterpoint and without instrumental accompaniment.
    • Iridescent: Showing luminous colors that seem to change when seen from different angles.
    • Nonconcomitant: Not accompanying.
    • Belle-lettrist:
    • Eyetooth: A canine tooth, especially one in the upper jaw.
    • Limpid: Unclouded; clear.
    • Voluble: Speaking or spoken incessantly and fluently.
    • Gingham: Lightweight plain-woven cotton cloth, typically checked in white and a bold color.
    • Charshaf: The veil worn by Turkish women.

Guide to French (incomplete)[edit]

  • Foreword
    • No French phrases
  • Part One
    • Chapter 2
      • (p10) Mon cher petit papa: My dear little dad.
      • (p11) Lycée: The second and last stage of secondary education in the French educational system; high school.
    • Chapter 3
      • (p12) Plage: A sandy bathing beach at a seashore resort.
      • (p13) Chocolat glacé: Chocolate ice cream.
    • Chapter 5
      • (p15) Manqué: Lit. missed, might be used for someone who could have become something but didn't, or somebody who was a failure at something. In the case of the book it means more 'lacking'; he's referring to those who lack talent See the Wikipedia article on manqué for a full meaning.
      • (p16) Histoire Abrégée de la poésie anglaise: A Brief History of English Poetry.
      • (p20) Enfant charmante et fourbe: Charming and cheating child
    • Chapter 6
      • (p21) Frétillement: wriggling.
      • (p21) Cent: one hundred.
      • (p21) Tant pis: too bad.
      • (p21) Monsieur: sir, mister; a John (patronizer of prostitutes).
      • (p22) Bidet: A fixture similar in design to a toilet that is straddled for washing the genitals and the anal area.
      • (p22) Petit Cadeau: small gift (the money exchanged).
      • (p22) Dix-huit: Eighteen.
      • (p22) Oui, ce n'est pas bien: Yes, this is not good.
      • (p22) Grues: cranes; slang for prostitute, from the observation that cranes (both the bird and the lifting machine), like prostitutes on the street corner, stand on one leg.
      • (p22) Il était malin, celui qui a inventé ce truc-là: The one who invented that thing was clever.
      • (p22) Posé un lapin: to stand someone up (for a date).
      • (p22) Tu est bien gentil de dire ça: You are very kind to say that.
      • (p22) Avant qu'on se couche: Before we lay down (before we have sex).
      • (p23) Je vais m'acheter des bas: I'm going to buy myself some stockings.
      • (p23) Regardez-moi cette belle brune: Do look at that beautiful brunette.
      • (p23) Qui pourrait arranger la chose: Who could arrange the thing.
      • (p24) Son argent: Her money.
      • (p24) Lui: Him.
    • Chapter 7
      • (p25) Mes malheurs: My misfortunes.
      • (p25) Français moyen: Average Frenchman.
    • Chapter 8
      • (p25) Pot-au-feu: Beef stew.
      • (p25) À la gamine: Like a playful, mischievous girl.
      • (p26) mairie: Town/City hall.
      • (p26) baba: (type of cake).
      • (p26) Paris-Soir: (large-circulation daily newspaper in Paris, France from 1923-1944).
      • (p27) Mon oncle d'Amérique: My uncle from America.
      • (p27) préfecture: (administrative jurisdiction or subdivision in any of various countries and within some international church structures).
      • (p28) Mais qui est-ce?: But who is it?
      • (p28) Jean Christophe:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Christophe
      • (p29) j'ai denabbde pardonne: excuse me.
      • (p29) est-ce que j'ai puis: I wish I could do it.
      • (p29) le gredin: The rogue/rascal.
    • Chapter 10
      • fruit vert: green fruit.
      • Au fond, ça m'est bien égal: I don't care either way.
    • Chapter 11
      • En escalier: On stairs.
      • Delectatio morosa: A pleasure taken in sinful thought or imagination, such as brooding on sexual images.
      • Je m'imagine cela: I can imagine that.
      • Ne montrez pas vos zhambes: Don't show your legs.
      • Le mot juste: The perfectly appropriate word or phrase for the situation.
      • La vermeillette fente: the ruby slit (vulva).
      • Un petit mont feutré de mousse délicate: a felt hillock of delicate mousse (woman's hairy but silky sexual organ).
      • Tracé sur le milieu d'un fillet escarlatte
      • Ces matins gris si doux: These gray mornings, so soft
      • Mais allez-y, allez-y: But ahead, ahead
      • Manège: The art of training and riding horses.

Online Resources[edit]