Vladimir Nabokov

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Lolita: Part 1, Chapter 12 Summary & Analysis

Finishing with his diary, Humbert Humbert complains of the frustration he felt at being so close to Lolita, while remaining unable to sexually possess her. He imagines his desire as a devil who erotically tempts him, then ruins his opportunities. He names the devil “Aubrey McFate,” after a name he has seen in a list of Lolita’s classmates.
Humbert imagines his life as planned out and controlled by invisible forces. This is part of the book’s self-awareness—Humbert seems to have some idea that he might be a fictional character, or at least that the patterns in his life resemble something planned out by a devilish author.
Perversity, Obsession, and Art Theme Icon
Patterns, Memory and Fate Theme Icon