This year, defective yeti has selected Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov as the book for National Novel Readers' Month. I don't have a lot of time to sit down with a book lately, so I'm listening to it on tape (read by Jeremy Irons) as I drive to and from work. It's only been a couple of days and all I can say is OMFG. I understand why this book was banned. Which is not to say that I think this book should be banned. But it's certainly... mature. Except for Lolita, of course, who at twelve years old is certainly not mature. This is going to be a tough one to get through. Very disturbing subject material. Of course, the book also has an interesting style, quite conversational. Almost confessional, but a bragging style of confession, rather than a repentant one. I'll likely not give story updates, since the story is difficult for me to read, much less write. I will however (inthe style of defective yeti), list interesting words I've a) fallen for, b) had to look up, or c) something else.
So, to start that off:
midges - I hate midges. The word has strange undertones for me. In the flying insect spectrum the fall somewhere between mosquitos and gnats, but neither of these words sounds nearly as irritating. In fact I dislike midges so much that it makes me dislike the name Madge for its similarity.
potentate - Chief or ruler. I mention this one because it's been ruined for me. It should make me think of exotic chieftains. Instead, it makes me think of Hernia Movers, and their motto - "The Potentate of Movin' Freight". Curse them.
game of fives - I looked this one up. Basically a relative of handball. Seems there are a multitude of regional variations at different colleges.
ironical - So this word isn't made up? C'mon. Really? OK, if you say so Websters.
monquiere - well, that's what it sounded like he said. This is the problem with listening to the tape. If I encounter a new word, I don't know how it is spelled. That, plus I have to jot it down while driving, or risk losing it. So far, no accidents have resulted from this bad habit.
poltroon- Not, as you might expect, a barnyard fowl upon whom tobacco juice is spit. Rather, "a wretched coward". Oh, that's even better.
favonian - "of or pertaining to the west wind; mild or favorable; propitious"
heliotropic - turning or growing toward the light. Brings up the quesion - are heliotropes heliotropic?
incondite - I'd never heard of this word before. It means "crude, rough, unmannerly". I had heard of recondite before - "little known, obscure". The word meanings have no obvious connection. The "cond" root seems to mean "put together or assembled". I'm not understanding where that comes in.
gin and pineapple - Humbert Humbert's drink of choice. Picked up some pineapple so I can try it. Sounds interesting.
chiarascura - I love this word. It has excellent rythgm. The problem is, the rhythm of the word seems to conquer my mind, and I can't retain the definition. Something about light and shadow.
More to come!