How Vladimir Nabokov’s Controversial Novels Became a Key of His Success

April 27, 2022 by Essay Writer

Throughout doing some research it’s not hard to understand why Vladimir Nabokov is known as one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century. He wrote and spoke in three languages Russian, English, and French. As will be discussed later on there are a various of reasons why Nabokov is worthy of analysis in today’s society. Some topics that will be brought up is his passed experiences and how he uses it in his writings. Along with topics that cause great controversy, Nabokov typically writes about serious problems that need to be talked about in society.

Vladimir Nabokov: The Secret To His Greatness

There is far more to Nabokov than what meets the eye. Nabokov was born into an old aristocratic family, and inherited an extensive amount of wealth as a teenager. During the Bolshevik revolution they had lost everything. He was so acquainted with the horrors of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany which had killed both his father and his brother; It’s hard to understand the fact that he was so detached from the real world in his writings. After receiving a teaching position in America, Nabokov only focused on his writing and tried to forget the past. Not once did he speak out against injustice, made speeches or even voted.

All of the tragedies in some way or another causes controversy within society. Which is what most of his novels do; Vladimir is well-known for his novel Lolita, the name itself carries so much weight. The novel was published during the 1950’s and still today causes so much controversy. Lolita isn’t the only one his books that causes controversy, Ada is known for ardent sibling incest which was frowned upon but didn’t cause as much controversy as Lolita did. Method Vladimir has a way with words, With one look of Lolita you’ll be drawn from curiosity. throughout reading the book you forget what is actually happening and you find yourself becoming amazed.

Although Humbert Humbert is essentially a child molester while reading it is so easily dismissed. Even if the readers never condone his vain and deadly infatuation, readers understand it and maybe even sympathize for Humbert. If the novel was in the hands of a another writer there would not have been the same outcome. Before Lolita the topic did not exist and after a brief fuss Americans went back to believing sex with minors is a 1 in a million event.

Before the novel was published The Viking Press explained, “we would all go to jail if the thing were published”. But Vladimir did not give up and said “Lolita is a serious book with a serious purpose. I hope the public will accept it as such.” During the time Lolita was published the public were still trying to learn how to accept gay and lesbian couples. Vladimir Nabokov is one of the greatest writers in the world because he published Lolita, during his time he was the only writer who had written a book about something so dark and controversial. He made people realize the seriousness about this topic, which is the soul reason why he is a worthy analysis in today’s society. To this day there are still many articles being written about Lolita and the subject; there is a theory that the kidnapping of Sally Horner is the real Lolita due to similarities between the case and the book.


In conclusion in another author’s hand the novel would have received a tremendous amount of backlash. Instead readers refer to Lolita as “beautiful” and “disgusting brilliance” even though what the book is really about. As mentioned above the subjects Nabokov wrote had the soul purpose of presenting society with serious issues that aren’t discussed. Although his past is awful and should not be wished upon on anyone, it’s the reason why he became a great writer. Witnessing the things he did, helped him understand certain things about the world and society which influenced his writings.


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