A Cruel Man Delighting in Flowers

...the mildness to which men ... had yielded was only half of the intoxication of beauty, while the other half ... was of such surpassing and terrible cruelty—the most cruel of men delights himself with a flower—that beauty ... failed quickly of its effect... 

Hermann BrochThe Death of Virgil

 

Jeremy Davies is made of ink, but don’t dip a feather in him. It tickles. He once painted a fingernail black and no one really noticed. He was disappointed. He’s also an editor, a religious atheist, a liker of strong coffees, a Shakespeare-lover, a political anarchist and someone who rarely has a pen when he needs one. He has been a PhD candidate, a personal trainer, a life model, a bouncer, an infantry soldier and someone who rarely had a pen when he needed one. He has had words published in a variety of places, in a variety of publications, in a variety of forms, in a variety of moments: Canada, Wet Ink, SMS and twelve minutes past three in the afternoon being some of these. His first novel, 'Missing Presumed Undead', will be re-published by Satalyte Publishing in February 2014. A second is on its way.

Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov, Craig Raine There is plenty more going on in this marvelous novel than the exploration of the mind of a simple sexual pervert, or even a complex one. I will have to do a reread one day soon in order to give it proper goodreads-review treatment...

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Great novelists write out of division, uncertainties, borderlines, complication, rather than moral wall-charts and the charge-sheets of crude common law.
writes Raine about the novel, a requisite for 'greatness' I heartily endorse and one I agree is exhibited by Nabokov here.

If someone can read this novel and find it a dangerous apologia for pedophilia, or titillation for child-predators, I doubt they could ever be convinced otherwise. So, instead, without specific reference to 'what-it's-about' or, even more confusingly, 'what-it's-meant-to-do', let me just briefly state that in structure and in style, and in scorching aesthetic power, this novel is a work of art beyond which few authors could ever approach. So marvelously conservative and radical, safe and dangerous, straight and crooked, impossible and 'there'.

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Currently reading

Lyrical and Critical Essays
Albert Camus
The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages
Harold Bloom
The Rebel (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
Albert Camus