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5.0 out of 5 stars 5 estrellas sólo por ser Nabokov
Definitivamente, si un autor decide no publicar una obra en vida, sus herederos (por más dinero que quieran o necesiten, por más avaros que puedan ser) deberían abstenerse de hacerlo. Se deben respetar las decisiones del autor, que es el único que tiene derecho a tomarlas. Esta obra (genial, como todo lo que escribió el autor) es una...
Published on Feb. 16 2001 by Rigoberto Rodriguez

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3.0 out of 5 stars I Wish I Hadn't Read IT
Nabakov is one of my literary icons. I view him as one of the masters of 20th century prose. That's why I wish I hadn't read this book. It is indeed a precursor to Lotlita, told from the point of view of a character much like Humbert Humbert, who has a distinct penchant for young, waifish girls. However, whereas Lolita is full of great wit, disarming wordplay and...
Published on July 13 2000 by Bruce Kendall


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Wish I Hadn't Read IT, July 13 2000
By 
Bruce Kendall "BEK" (Southern Pines, NC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Enchanter (Paperback)
Nabakov is one of my literary icons. I view him as one of the masters of 20th century prose. That's why I wish I hadn't read this book. It is indeed a precursor to Lotlita, told from the point of view of a character much like Humbert Humbert, who has a distinct penchant for young, waifish girls. However, whereas Lolita is full of great wit, disarming wordplay and inventiveness, this novella borders on the prosaically pornographic. Most of the narrative is taken up with the lurid musings and imaginative follies of the old rake. As is the case in Lolita, he takes up with the mother to get closer to the daughter. And in this story too, the mother is conveniently removed from the picture, leaving our hero to bask in solitude with his young ward. Again, as in his great novel, Nabakov's narrator comes to a bad end. His nymphette wakes up while he is forcing himself on her and starts screaming bloody murder. The neighbors call the police and he's carted off to jail. Anyone who is familiar with Lolita is aware of the obscenity charges filed against it and of the difficulties surounding its initial US publication. However, Lolita, Like Joyce's Ulysses, is not obscene in any sense. It towers above its subject matter because it is great satirical literature, full of humor and grand spirit. This little book, on the other hand, becomes bogged down in its subject matter and comes very close to being pornographic. There is good reason it wasn't published until recently. It throws a new and perhaps unwarrentedly lurid light on its author's masterpiece. Nabakov's son issues a king of apologia for the work in a postscript. I read this book because I've tried to read all of Nabakov's works, both fiction and non-fiction. I would have to place this one at the bottom of the list. My reverence for a great author was diminished slightly by my exposure to this text. I'm surprised his estate did decide to publish it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Rough sketch, March 24 2004
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Enchanter (Paperback)
In a sense, "The Enchanter" was not meant to be published. Author Vladimir Nabokov unearthed the extremely brief novel in his papers, 20 years after he dashed it off (and thought it was gone forever). It's "Lolita" before there was "Lolita"... but not quite as interesting.
The main character is a middle-aged, respectable, well-off man, living alone and lonely. He also has a distinct "liking" for teenage girls who are just hitting adolescence, but doesn't dare to try anything. One in particular catches his notice, a coltish girl on roller skates who talks to him at times and gains his affection and lust.
He proposes to the girl's widowed mother, who is terminally ill and pretty crabby; he has no interest in his "monstrous bride" but it's the only way he can get to the girl. The wife's condition gets worse over the following months, and she dies. And the man choreographs his own downfall as he plots to seduce his new stepdaughter...
The mind of a pedophile is a disgusting thing, and Nabokov makes no excuses for it. "The Enchanter" is a pretty straightforward story in comparison, without a lot of twists or surprises. It's far from a bad book, but it's not a terribly good one either. It's fairly ordinary, especially when compared to modern classic "Lolita."
The high point of "The Enchanter" is the rambling thoughts of the lead character as the book opens. Then it dips down and proceeds more or less steadily. Nabokov's lush language and complex symbolism aren't really very present here. His writing is blander and more straightforward, with a lack of polish.
The characters are given no names -- they're just the man, the girl, the wife. And the only characters we really get insight into are the lead character and the teenage girl. He's a lech, a creepy pedophile, with nothing good about him. Though he's the center of the novel it's impossible to feel any understanding for him, only a sort of disgusted pity. And Nabokov evoked that with a flair. And the girl is a sort of vibrant athlete that can be seen at any school.
"The Enchanter" is a sort of pale shadow of "Lolita," a straightforward story about a pedophile and how his obsessions bring him down. Worth checking out, but far from the best.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Dethroned by Lolita, April 27 2003
By 
"audrey325" (Sunnyvale, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Enchanter (Paperback)
Nabokov's Lolita spawns from this short book, and it is fascinating to see the thought process behind the masterpiece. The book is translated to English from Russian, so some of the story may be lost. The Enchanter is a bit disappointing after finishing Lolita. Lolita is full of word play, imagery, allusion, and poetic prose, so finding the Enchanter to be merely a story with not much artistry in the language is almost sad! The storyline consists of little complexity, and the work is void of the characterization that draws the reader into Lolita. The narrator has none of the charisma that the brilliant Humbert Humbert possesses, and comes across simply as a villain. Nabokov's concept of the nymphet that left the term "Lolita" forever in the English vocabulary does not appear either. The young girl's character isn't developed at all; instead the reader gets nothing more than physical descriptions. Nabokov didn't intend the Enchanter for publication at all, it is merely a sketch of an idea he later developed for everyone's eyes. This book is worth reading, but without any expectations that Lolita may cause the reader to have. Perhaps it is better to read the Enchanter before reading Lolita.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lolita's notebook sketch, June 22 2001
This review is from: The Enchanter (Paperback)
Like many posthumous works, this first attempt by Nabokov to portray nymphet-love is more interesting to understand the author than as a reading in itself.
Here, the approach is blunter and in a way more shocking - unmitigated by the intellectual rigmaroles that veil the sexual content in "Lolita". The book's plot, with its desperate escape, is a simplified version of the fantastic voyage of Humbert and Dolores. And "The Enchanter" also lacks the mild, educated satire of Middle America which has been a suitable alibi for many readers of the later book.
In a way, "The Enchanter" is like a notebook sketch for "Lolita". It has its basic elements of a story, but none of its richness of colour.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A difficult but perhaps necessary work, May 29 2001
By 
MR G. Rodgers (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Enchanter (Paperback)
I found this a difficult and disturbing novella: I was uncomfortable with it throughout and finished with a sense of relief, not only because the book ended, but also because of the way it ended.
Other reviews have pointed out that Nabokov was treading a narrow path between literature and pornography, and I could see their point. How anyone can find children sexually attractive is utterly beyond me. However, I think that the first presumption in literature should be one of tolerance - it would be a mistake, in my view, to dismiss "The Enchanter" as a work of pornography. It isn't - yet it's very challenging.
Nabokov examines the mind of a paedophile - in particular his inability to differentiate between fantasy and reality until it is too late. I would have been worried if I had not found the subject matter disturbing. What it did do was make me reflect why I found this novella so challenging, and why I found, for example, Thomas Mann's "Death in Venice" (which deals with a dying man's infatuation with a boy) so moving. I'll need to re-read "Death in Venice" to reflect more on this, but I think it's because in "Death in Venice" the attraction to the boy was the means by which von Aschenbach faced his own imminent demise, and realised that he'd denied his true nature throughout his life. There was no, as such, sexual possibility.
Also, I was reminded of a scene in William Corlett's "Now and Then" in which the main (gay) character shares a bedroom with his young and (I think, though memory may be unreliable) attractive nephew: the nephew enjoys undressing before his uncle, but the saving factor is that the uncle is in control of his life and emotions - he realises that this is merely the boy showing off, that it is not meant as a sexual advance.
What Nabokov does is examine the fact that for some disturbed individuals (males?), there is an inability to rationalise and separate fantasy from reality - and where the fastasy involves children, this is particularly dangerous. Children do not view the world through the same eyes as adults - I can remember in particular two incidents at school (one when I was 10, the other 15), when male teachers let's say, doted very obviously over particular girls. To us at that age, they appeared to be rather dirty and ridiculous old men (one was in his fifties, the other in his thirties). To my knowledge, nothing at all happended. I think what is important is that most of us, as we mature absorb such reflections made in our youth and use them as the foundations for controlling our behaviour as adults. Some however, fail to do this, as Nabokov demonstrated.
In a society where voilence against children seems to be growing, reading a work like "The Enchanter" is not easy, yet it is brave fiction, and if it makes one reflect and therefore learn, it has immense value.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 5 estrellas sólo por ser Nabokov, Feb. 16 2001
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This review is from: The Enchanter (Paperback)
Definitivamente, si un autor decide no publicar una obra en vida, sus herederos (por más dinero que quieran o necesiten, por más avaros que puedan ser) deberían abstenerse de hacerlo. Se deben respetar las decisiones del autor, que es el único que tiene derecho a tomarlas. Esta obra (genial, como todo lo que escribió el autor) es una especie de ejercicio inicial que luego daría origen a uno de los libros más hermosos que se han escrito en la historia: "Lolita". Pero, siendo una especie de experimento, carece de la calidad de este último. En todo caso es un documento importante para estudiosos de la literatura, pero en si mismo, empobrece un poco la totalidad de la obra de Vladimir Nabokov. Cero (0) estrellas para Dmitri (su osado hijo).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Approach and Recognition., Jan. 10 2001
This review is from: The Enchanter (Paperback)
The diagram of approach and recognition, followed almost immediately by annihilation, a peculiar position occupied by the novella as expanded short story or curtailed novel.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sketchy predecessor to Lolita, Aug. 8 2000
This review is from: The Enchanter (Paperback)
No one can write about "The Enchanter" without mentioning the fact that it is the precursor to "Lolita". Keeping in mind that this was a sketch for "Lolita", it isn't that bad. Who can say that they've written something brilliant without thought on the first try? Also, keep in mind that it was translated from Russian into English (not by Nabokov), so Nabokov's usual beauty in writing may be badly put into English. If you are interested in reading "The Enchanter", be it for the fact that you want to see where it meets with "Lolita".
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2.0 out of 5 stars Raw, April 29 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Enchanter (Paperback)
The Enchanter is clearly an exploratory piece of writing - it has a certain juvenile, rough feel that makes the reader certain that it is the beginning of an inquiry rather than the end. It would probably be most interesting to readers of 'Lolita' and 'Laughter in the Dark'.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lolita's predecessor, Nov. 24 1997
This review is from: The Enchanter (Paperback)
In many respects it is very similar to Nabokov's most famous novel 'Lolita', yet, in many respects it lacks all the wit and charm and appeal that makes Lolita so likeable. Its a bit more simple with the main character on the same path: to watch little girl's play. The voyeurism is a bit more offensive because of the faceless characters that are drawn, not mention the more distant point of view the reader is to take. Because it is a short story, The Enchanter is not out of the way, and worth a read for Nabokov lovers, but not for lovers of reading.
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The Enchanter
The Enchanter by Vladimir Nabokov (Paperback - July 20 1991)
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