Mansplaining Lolita


I would agree there’s a question of whether generalizing by race and gender is essentialist.

I don’t know from misandry. How is that a thing in this context? She’s answering a public criticism that women and POC can’t take a joke.


Really? I always read the book as a paen to the glorious light that comes from combustion, and a finger-in-the-eye of the artificial lighting industry.


Right, if you accept the Post Modern idea of the death of the author then the authorial intent becomes meaningless since the author can be wrong. But even outside the Post Modern construct authorial intent can be subverted through a failure to effectively communicate intent.
If Goerge Lucas came out and said that the Star Wars saga was all about the difficulties of moisture farming, we would say he was wrong. It doesn’t matter if you take the Post Modern view or simply think that he failed to communicate that message. Intent is irrelevant in these sort of cases. What matters most is how the reader is changed by the reading.




#OH? Do explain.

Cory’s description actually says “the story of a man who rapes and rapes and rapes a child,” which it most certainly is. Maybe you think the child-raping part is incidental to the story, but whatever.


The difference is that there is literally no truth to be found in literary criticism. It’s just empty opinion without objective measurement. At various times Dickens and Shakespeare were judged to be worthless hacks, at other times authors of the very best literature possible, and today often as somewhat overrated Dead White Men. Can any of these hypotheses be objectively tested?


Dickens is a worthless hack. There, I said it. (Will is okay in my book)


Your very large letters intrigue me. The explanation is that I left our the word “die” in that statement.

On the surface it is. But like most things that survive over time, it isn’t just about that. It isn’t its surface features. That said, I’m not a fan of the book, since it is hard to get over creepy bits, but that, I feel, is part of the point.


No one claimed Lolita was only about child rape.


Reading the article, it seems that is the thing we really should focus on, reading the article. By a “white” man, no less. As if it being done by a brown, black, or green man would be better, or change the circumstance in the slightest.

I’m not going to go all “internet argument” here, and claim she is wrong. Art is subjective, and we value it based on our unique perspectives. When it comes to art, her point is just as valid as any other. I, for instance, can’t stand Nabokov for my own reasons, mostly unrelated to the authors (though the rapey bits in Lotlita do come a bit to close to gleeful celebration, we might agree on that). I just find the similarities between the opinions of whoever authored the Esquire article, and these articles to be extremely humourous. Don’t read things through the lens of gender, unless you read it through the correct lens of gender.


Dickens was paid by the word and it shows. He also really only had about two plots and recycled them a lot.


Can’t tell if this is real or parody of Tumblr.

Such is life.


Man, you mansplained the shit out of that comment!


You’re confusing criticism as a theory with criticism as a value judgement. One is about analysis and the other is book reviews. You can objectively refute or support the logic of an analysis. Complicating the matter is the fact that there is a subjective element to the appreciation of art. But it’s like politics. There are subjective evaluations in politics, because of course there are. But we don’t pretend that politics is all air-fairy bullshit with nothing holding it to the ground. Art is a product of a real world and a real society. There is a reality in it. Just because you can’t pull out a tape measure, it doesn’t mean that literature is disconnected from the world. Scientific method is great, I love it, I use it. It’s pretty terrible for all sorts of things though. You can’t apply it to certain parts of history, for instance. Direct observation of historical fact is often through the lens of a person writing a long time ago, and people who lied on the regular. Scientific method is inappropriate for certain aspects of historical study. Does this mean there is no truth in history? Of course not.


Agreed. This is why you can enjoy a work but loathe its author (like works by Orson Scott Card or JD Salinger or Scott Adams).

I’ve written several stories where I realized well after the fact that the story meant something different to me in retrospect than I had thought while writing it. The act of writing often involves a filtering through of the subconscious mind and all the experiences and subconscious thoughts that you haven’t quite articulated to yourself out loud.

And it’s ridiculous to think that a story can or should only have one interpretation. Human creativity shouldn’t be limited to a prescribed set of interpretations.


Ah, you’re getting your rhetorical style from Trump, eh?


I really hope you took the time to tell her this directly. I’m sure she’d be really interested in hearing you explain why she’s wrong.


You may find that objectivity in life is an impossible goal. Objectivity may be entirely illusory. All that we do and are exists as a subjective state. Even when we try to view the results of a concrete action, there is no way to determine what effects are objective and what are subjective. Even if objectivity exists, we may not have access to it since everything we experience we do so subjectively.
Consider what we call the pollution rule
Objectivity + Subjectivity = Subjectivity
Assuming objectivity exists, once you put a human in the mix all results become subjective.


$ man usingALinuxLaptopForWomen


Can you objectively test any word or sequence of words?

Can you objectively test an utterance?

How about a glance?

There is also literally no objectively testable or measurable truth in love - it’s just empty opinion.