Reading Lolita in Tehran


The title refers to Vladimir Nabokov's novel, Lolita, a story about a middle aged man who has a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old pubescent girl. The book Lolita is used by the author as a metaphor for life in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Although the book states that the metaphor is not allegorical (p. 35) Nafisi does want to draw parallels between "victim and jailer" (p. 37). The author implies that, like the principal character in Lolita, the regime in Iran imposes their "dream upon our reality, turning us into his figments of imagination."[4] In both cases, the protagonist commits the "crime of solipsizing another person's life."[4]

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