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3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,735 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
The Enchanter is the Ur-Lolita, the precursor to Nabokov's classic novel. At once hilarious and chilling, it tells the story of an outwardly respectable man and his fatal obsession with certain pubescent girls, whose coltish grace and subconscious coquetry reveal, to his mind, a special bud on the verge of bloom.
Paperback, 136 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by Rivages (first published 1985)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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MJ Nicholls
The Enchanter is the blueprint for Lolita, there’s no dancing around that fact. The story concerns a middle-aged man-of-private-means who falls for a twelve-year-old nymphet and marries her unappealing mother, later bumping her off to satisfy his crazed libido. The slinky prose wonderment of Lolita is here in miniature too, minus the distinctive lyricism of HH and pervading darkly comedic tone. In true [P] style, all that remains is to tell a 2000-word anecdote about my early years and in some w ...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
A little too brief, and bordering on too lurid this time around, with the scary final peen-scene with its peeny-fluids and all that peeny-talk. You can't help but wonder what Nabokov Sr. would have done with it had he been the one to translate it to English, and you also can't help but wonder (and maybe draw some conclusions as to) why he didn't. Or instead you may say to me from your grave, "But I did translate it. Into one of the greatest novels ever composed in the English language. Called Lo ...more
Jan 31, 2013 Mariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: wing of wax
Recommended to Mariel by: wing of gold leaf
I have a fascination with ballet that doesn't move. The little engine that could warms up and shit I'm just the understudy. Watching a ballet performance would not hold my interest. My inner eye droops and roams to a back up eye (I put up with "four-eyes" jokes since I was fourteen. I get to have a back up third eye. I hope my fellow wearer of glasses are going "We can do that?"). Yet the idea of it is a kind of romance to me. Bloodied feet, tip toes and sweat. Smoke to sting the eyes and the mi ...more
Nov 30, 2015 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh Nabokov, you truly are a master of the written word.

I read this novella as part of the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon this year (my first time attempting it, and a very enjoyable experience!). Seeing as Lolita is one of my favourite books of all-time, I couldn't wait to check out Nabokov's almost precursor to the classic novel.

The unnamed protagonist, the "enchanter" himself, is a mixture of funny, calculating, and vile. The way in which he weaves his spider's web around the young girl he becomes
Adam Floridia
Feb 18, 2012 Adam Floridia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nabokov, 5-star-books
5 stars. 5 stars for a book whose margins are now filled by my insightful literary analyses reading "creepy," "disturbing," "ewwwww," "gross," and even "that's really fucked up." This is the first half of Lolita in the making--no mere similarities, but exactly. Only, it's cruder. This is the first time I've found some of Nabokov's prose actually obtuse. Also it's more vulgar. There still aren't any vulgarities/obscenities, per say, but this is so much more vulgar AND obscene than I remember Loli ...more
Apr 16, 2015 Мая rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Тази пра-Лолита ме възхити доста повече от оригиналната. Не, нямам предвид, че тук имаме също така дръзко поведение от почти дете, съблазняващо по-възрастен мъж. Даже напротив - тук момиченцето е невинно и крехко създание, с което похотливите мисли и щения на главния герой се хранят.
Героите така и не получават имена до края на новелата. Незнайно защо, може би Набоков иска да си изградим наша представа за хората, да решим в сърцата си дали да съдим някого, чиято съдба е да е пленен от красота, ко
Кремена Михайлова
Какъв подходящ преход – от японската „Гласът на планината“ (20 годишна жена и > 60 г. мъж) към уж западна (но наречена от самия Набоков руска) проза (12 г. момиче и > 40 г. мъж). И при двете книги ми мина мисълта - май трябва малко да се сърдим на красотата (както Мизогучи от „Златният храм“ не понесе онази „трудна“ красота). Няма смисъл сега да описвам другите прилики и разлики между споменатите романи. Но определено си припомних: обичам книги, в които се пише така – както чисто литератур ...more
Mar 26, 2008 Philrequardt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is an excellent little novella. as with anything nabokov writes, there are stunning passages of prose. this book is a pre-cursor to lolita and as such explores an erotic relationship between an older man and a (much) younger, uh, pre-woman. I know what you're thinking, "Nabokov wrote TWO books about older men getting their freak on with younger 'pre-women,' that ain't right. I could accept one, but TWO! Oh hell no! That ain't even a little bit right!" To which I say, "Be cool, bitch. Be coo ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 20, 2015 NeDa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Мълчалива възхита и няколко изречения в подкрепа ...

Набоков + Иглика Василева =

Никога преди това не се беше случвало подчиненото изречение на страховития му живот да се допълни от главното ...

... на моменти спираше, дълбоко умислена, след което го догонваше с някое позакъсняло питане, подсказано ѝ от неговите предпазливи думи, излезли на пръсти от устата му.

Той погледна гората, която се приближаваше на вълнообразни скокове от склон на склон, докато накрая се спусна по едно нанадолнище и се препъ
Мартин Касабов

"Какво да направя, за да се помиря със себе си?"- така започва "Вълшебникът", последното произведение на Набоков, писано на родния му руски език. В него става въпрос за 40-годишен мъж, разкъсван от неистовото си привличане към 12-годишно момиче. Новелата е писана през 1939 годинар в Париж, малко преди Набоков да се премести в Америка, където десет години по-късно ще се появи истинската Лолита. Историята е изровена от архивите от сина му Дмитри
Петър Панчев
Табутата на страстта или първата Лолита на Набоков
Цялото ревю тук:

„Какво да направя, за да се помиря със себе си? – мислеше си той, когато му се случваше да мисли. – Това едва ли е обикновен разврат. Грубата чувственост е всеядна, а по-изтънчената в крайна сметка предполага утоление“

Така започва „Вълшебникът“ („Колибри“, 2015) на Владимир Набоков. Новелата предхожда „Лолита“ с години, писана през далечната 1939-а. По каквато и причина да е било, всички
Apr 18, 2014 Jenelle rated it really liked it
this was the "first little throb of Lolita," and while it stands on its own, it's all the more valuable for insight into how a theme was worked over in Nab's head. within that theme, there's less nuance: the girl is far less coquettish, maybe for being less American, and the man more explicitly predatory and perverse; the boundaries are rigid and the story is a study of an indisputable frenzied psychopath. more disturbing, more amusing, more explicit! without a doubt this is some of the simplest ...more
Ivan Damjanović
Potaknut Nabokovljevim snishodljivim izjavama o Dostojevskom uzeh jednu njegovu knjigu nasumce u GISKO-u. Ispostavilo se da je to, po autorovim riječima iz pogovora, „najduža kratka priča“ ili „najkraća novela“, sadržajem preteča Lolite. Moram priznati da je stil izrazito istančan pa ću morati uzeti još neki njegov tekst, po mogućnosti s drugom tematikom.
Giorgia Berti
In questo "primo, piccolo palpito" di Lolita, come lo definì lo stesso autore, si ritrovano i germogli, le foglioline ancora immature, del capolavoro nabokoviano.
Un must per chiunque apprezzi il genio, il virtuosismo lirico ma mai vuoto dell'autore russo, che in questa novella ci accompagna nella mente di un sognatore folle, perverso, ma capace di rivelarsi -a noi e a se stesso, con una nota di sincero stupore - umano.
Una storia polifonica, polisemica, che riesce a pizzicare corde segrete, rel
Mar 15, 2015 Riccardo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Scritto nel 1939 questo racconto lungo è la cronaca di un'ossessione malata. Protagonista è un uomo all'apparenza distinto e a modo che nutre però, dentro di sé passioni e desideri malsani. Un giorno, mentre se ne sta al parco vede una ragazzina, dall'apparente età di dodici anni, anche se secondo un critico dice che fosse appena decenne e subito inizia a tessere la propria tela di incantamenti. Inizia a tesserla con la donna che accompagna la giovinetta e assiste ai suoi momenti di svago sui pa ...more
Oct 14, 2012 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Like the back of the novels says, 'the Enchanter' is "the Ur-Lolita, the precursor to Nabokov's classic novel." A short, quick novella that flirts and throbs with similar themes as 'Lolita', but also a terrible infant work that explores the themes of maddness, indulgence, obsession and fantasy that Nabokov's novels like Despair and Pale Fire also explore. A mad king who reigns in his lecherous and multi-level hell of his own impulses. Distilled down, reading 'the Enchanter' is like eating powder ...more
Apr 02, 2014 Ffiamma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russitudini
racconto lungo in cui la morbosità del tema e l'eleganza sopraffina della scrittura creano un cocktail perfetto di fascino e repulsione- con tanto di finale cinematografico. interessante, anche se non fondamentale nella produzione nabokoviana.
(da leggere dopo "lolita")
Autumn Haze
Aug 20, 2013 Autumn Haze rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The predecessor to Lolita (as far as ideas put to paper go, anyway) is in every way just as enthralling. It follows a similar cognitive story line (which is why many cite it as the predecessor to Nabokov's most famous work), however, it deals with neither Humbert nor Dolores Haze. It is an entirely different story insofar as characters go, but every bit as relevant. The Enchanter is much shorter than Lolita, and nowhere near as intricate, however, it provides the reader with yet another glimpse ...more
Mike Lester
Jan 28, 2012 Mike Lester rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This short novel is a precursor to Nabokov's more famous Lolita. It's always fascinating to see how an author develops themes and works out ideas. The protagonist in this case definitely seems a bit more sympathetic than Humbert Humbert (even though, in some twisted way, I kinda like HH), but there is still that edge to the character, a shadow seen only peripherally. I highly recommend reading this one soon after finishing Lolita, as it adds to the experience. This Vintage edition also features ...more
A twisted story of twisted people.
Leonard Klossner
Apr 03, 2015 Leonard Klossner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deary Darling
Jun 11, 2014 Deary Darling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Did she have a precursor?" She did, indeed, she did.

Knowing that Nabokov didn't translate this himself helps a little but even so I was unprepared for how crude and grotesque this was when compared to the breathtaking Lolita. Nabokov was not as cruel the first time. He didn't give his fella the charm or the skill to walk among us, dazzling us with his glad-ad good looks and poetic justifications. He didn't give us the chance to trip ourselves up on the sexuality and flirtations of a 12 year ol
Mar 04, 2016 Kayla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since the character of "the girl" is given little to no personality and no name it's harder to invest in her journey than it is with Lolita or Margot. Sure you want the best for "the girl" and you can empathize because of the fact that she's a little girl in a horrible situation. But Lolita and Margot have feisty personalities and make you laugh and they fight so hard, the reader really becomes really invested in them as characters. I think this was the mistake that was fixed when Lolita was wri ...more
Dec 22, 2015 Edward rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Enchanter follows that familiar Nabokovian story of a middle-aged man who marries a woman he doesn't love in order to fornicate with her tween daughter. While the story stands on its own, perhaps the most intriguing thing about it, is what it is not, and what it is not is Lolita . The story is of course beautifully written, but what's missing here is the sublimely creepy character of Humbert Humbert, who (unreliably) narrates Lolita in the first person, allowing the prose to elevate to such ...more
Richard F. Schiller
Plot-wise very similar to the first half of Lolita . However, "the man" is nowhere as cunning or likable as Humbert Humbert and "the widow" is not even close to being as irritating as the annoying Charlotte Haze. "The girl" has none of the American vulgarity of Dolores Haze and appears to be far less mature (even though both are 12-year olds at the beginning). This story is a lot more "traditional" than Lolita , with "the man" punished severely for his actions.
Feb 18, 2013 Wizard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
extremely creepy book, but very well written. It took me a rather long time to finish this book because it creeped me out so much. I was about to just stop reading it but then I realized that I only had a few more pages left and that I needed to know the ending. My aunt suggested this book to me and it left a lasting impression on me, and I highly suggest this book to anyone prepared to take on the challenge of 74 pages of the main characters warped mind.
Aug 27, 2015 Arda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Piccolo racconto di una mente contorta....

Ultimamente molte persone mi hanno fatto notare (è un modo di dire, ne ero già pienamente consapevole) che io non sono una grande lettrice di libri classici. E' vero, non mi sento ancora pronta (se così si può dire) a buttarmi in quel mondo, però tutto sommato qualcosina l'ho letta anch'io...
Qual è il fatto?!Io leggo i libri meno conosciuti per imparare a conoscere i vari scrittori. Non sempre ovviamente.
Due esempi (ora tre) però li posso fare.
Del Sig. M
Cinabru Hoffmann
Jan 23, 2015 Cinabru Hoffmann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: varia
Aparuta in 2005 la Humanitas, in traducerea Luanei Schidu, nuvela “Vrajitorul” este in nuce faimoasa “Lolita” de mai tarziu, cartea care i-a adus lui Nabokov celebritatea. Departe de stralucirea inovatoare de limbaj din Lolita, de personajele memorabile precum seducatoarea nimfeta sau Humbert cel cu lecturi bogate, povestirea este scrisa de un autor matur, clasic, care descoperea cu entuziasm limba engleza, noua limba a noii tari care se dovedise mai primitoare decat Rusia natala. O prima versiu ...more
Jacqueline Wagenstein
Новелата „Вълшебникът“ е изваяна от гения на стила Владимир Набоков. Тя се счита за предвестник на „Лолита“, класическият роман на писателя, превърнал се във фокус на страстни дискусии. За да задоволи своята еротична страст по малко, още несъзряло момиче, един бижутер, мъж на средна възраст, се жени за болната й майка – вдовица, чиято смърт скоро след това го поставя в ролята на настойник на девойката, която така и не се превръща в дръзка нимфетка. Едновременно забавна и смразяваща, тази красива ...more
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Nabokov in Three ...: Impressions 1 6 May 16, 2012 09:08PM  
  • Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years
  • The Enchanter: Nabokov and Happiness
  • The Noise of Time: Selected Prose
  • پرتره
  • Yann Andréa Steiner
  • The Village of Stepanchikovo
  • The Red Laugh
  • La maison du canal
  • Requiem for a Lost Empire
  • The Dragon: Fifteen Stories
  • The Dream Life of Sukhanov
  • Pylon: The Corrected Text
  • The White Steamship
  • Sonata de otoño. Sonata de invierno
  • Memories of the Future
  • The Story of a Nobody
  • River of the Dead (Cetin Ikmen, #11)
  • La presa
Russian: Владимир Владимирович Набоков

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, also known by the pen name Vladimir Sirin, was a Russian-American novelist. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist. He also made significant contributions to lepidoptery and had an interest in chess problems.

Nabokov's Lolita (1955) is frequently cit
More about Vladimir Nabokov...

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“She might be a little introverted, livelier of movement than of conversation, neither bashful nor forward, with a soul that seemed submerged, but in a radiant moistness. Opalescent on the surface but translucent in her depths…” 12 likes
“A doua zi și în zilele următoare, se așeza în același loc, interpretând amator, dar destul de bine, rolul singuraticului excentric: la ora obișnuită, în locul obișnuit. Sosirea fetei, răsuflarea ei, picioarele ei, părul ei, tot ce făcea, fie că se scărpina pe gamba cu degetele ce lăsau dâre albe, fie că arunca în sus o mingiuță neagră ori se freca de el cu un umar gol când se așeza pe bancă - toate astea (în timp ce el părea adâncit într-o conversație plăcuta) stârneau în el o senzație insuportabilă de comuniune cu ea, sangvină, dermică, multivasculară, ca și cum bisectoarea monstruoasă care pompa toate sucurile din adâncurile lui se extindea în ea ca o linie punctată pulsândă, ca și cum fata asta creștea din el, ca și cum, cu fiecare mișcare nepăsătoare, ea se trăgea brusc și își scutura rădăcinile vitale înfipte în măruntaiele ființei lui, astfel încât când iși schimba brusc poziția sau pleca în grabă, el simțea o zdruncinătura, o smucitură barbară, o pierdere momentană a echilibrului: ca și cum te-ai trezi deodată târât pe spate prin praf, dând cu capul de pămant, tras cu putere spre locul unde vei fi spânzurat de măruntaie. Și în tot timpul ăsta stătea și asculta calm, zâmbind, dând din cap...” 0 likes
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