A public talk by Michal Oklot, Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages, Brown University. The lecture provides an overview of the themes and motifs that Lolita shares with other European modernist works of the 1920s and 1930s. Remembering that Lolita is one of the funniest and shrewdest parodies of modernist fiction, not to mention a rather unique and peculiar love story, we will read the novel through more general questions regarding creative spontaneity and the relationship between man and his circumambient universe at a given living moment. These are central questions, with moral and aesthetic implications, for authors such as D. H. Lawrence and others, from whom Nabokov tried to distance himself. Nonetheless, answering them against the backdrop of Lolita will allow us to better understand Nabokov's own aesthetic concerns, as well as to see the continuity between Nabokov's Russian and American works. Sponsored by the Russian, English, and Film Studies Departments.