April 17 2014, 12:16 PM

Humbert Culture and the Case of James Franco

In Humbert culture, little girls are like Nabokov’s narrator described them in Lolita: “little deadly demons” among “wholesome” children, unconscious of their fantastic power and their capacity to ensnare men. Why else would the New York Times, reporting upon the rape of an eleven-year-old by eighteen men, remark upon how the girl “dressed older than her age” and hung out with “teenage boys” on the playground? Why else would the theory that Dolores Haze seduced Humbert Humbert have any salience in popular culture? Why else would James Franco insist that he was deceived by a conniving seventeen-year-old hell-bent on ruining his career? In Humbert culture, girls are wolves, and men are lambs.

Humbert Culture and the Case of James Franco

In Humbert culture, little girls are like Nabokov’s narrator described them in Lolita: “little deadly demons” among “wholesome” children, unconscious of their fantastic power and their capacity to ensnare men. Why else would the New York Times, reporting upon the rape of an eleven-year-old by eighteen men, remark upon how the girl “dressed older than her age” and hung out with “teenage boys” on the playground? Why else would the theory that Dolores Haze seduced Humbert Humbert have any salience in popular culture? Why else would James Franco insist that he was deceived by a conniving seventeen-year-old hell-bent on ruining his career? In Humbert culture, girls are wolves, and men are lambs.

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