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3.64  ·  Rating details ·  2,277 Ratings  ·  188 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 1939)
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J.L.   Sutton
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always been a fan of Vladimir Nabokov's writing. With his deft style, images come alive in ways that are both beautiful and disturbing; language is used not as a way to tell a story but to explain character. On that score, Vladimir's seminal novel Lolita quickly comes to mind. Nabokov's The Enchanter (1939) tells a similar story and is considered an Ur-Lolia (Lolita would be published well over a decade later in 1955). The themes which resonate so powerfully in Lolita are all here in this e ...more
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Like the back of the novel 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 powdere ...more
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
Jan 03, 2013 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
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
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nabo-wabo
If one looks through the thousands of reviews of Lolita, a thematic unifier becomes abundantly clear: it is de rigueur to explicitly state that Lo’s age, HH’s lascivious lustings, the consummation thereof, blah-diddy-blah-di-da were personally reprehensible to you. Every fiber of your being was tested as you repeatedly swallowed the rising bile in your throat, so repulsed were you by the contents. You braved on in search of justice and vain hope of a reckoning for Humbertx2. Lastly, you concede ...more
Oct 17, 2014 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
Mar 23, 2010 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
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

L'Incantatore è una novella scritta nel 1939 a Parigi
firmata con lo pseudonimo "V.Sirin" usato da Nabokov per i suoi scritti in russo dalla prima giovinezza in poi, perché non fossero confusi con quelli del padre ,Vladimir pure lui.
C'è nella novella un primo vago palpito di Lolita, ci sono echi di certe idee e immagini ,tuttavia ,come scriveva l'autore in una nota
Lolita era una cosa nuova , che aveva sviluppato di nascosto gli artigli e le ali di un romanzo vero e proprio.
I prota
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
Apr 16, 2015 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
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Familiar Nabokovian motifs and a recognisably Nabokovian story, and a precursor to Lolita: a deluded man concocts a plan to marry a sick (dying) woman in order to molest her twelve year old daughter. The man goes a long period of time frustrated as the woman refuses to die; a period of frustration that Nabokov depicts brilliantly (as is his wont). Finally, as the main character (never named; neither are anyone else in the story except for one inconsequential one), at last, manages to get to his ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 26, 2008 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
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Only Nabokov can write a short novel about a pedophile seducing a woman so that he can marry her and get closer to her daughter and manage to make it one of the most beautiful written works I've ever read. The Enchanter was an early draft, a precursor to Lolita and the reader will be able to see that once they actually dig into this text. Though Arthur is not Humbert Humbert he more or less is because his motivations, strategy, and endless musings about young girls mirrors the now famous protago ...more
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
Lukáš Palán
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american, russian
Jestli se nepletu, je to moje první setkání s Nabokovem a došlo k němu poté co jsem zjistil, že Čaroděj je Lolita na 100 stránkách. Tak by to mělo být vždycky, napsat krátkou verzi pro lenochy, prodavače O2 a autoklempíře, a dlouhou pro nudný lidi.

Děj tedy jako Lolita, s tím rozdílem, že tahle nymfička byla ještě mladší, což mi v gatích a hlavě nadělalo docela paseku. Naštěstí jsem při čtení neměl erekci, takže jsem normální člověk. Především proto, že jsem si hlavního hrdinu představoval jako
Jun 15, 2015 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
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Lolita and it had grossed me out but the sheer poetic brilliance and lyrical quality of the prose bowled me over. I keep saying this when a discussion of Lolita crops up, "It takes genius to make gross sound flowery and a criminal sound like just another human being with flaws he could never overcome."

The Enchanter is a pre-Lolita. Nabokov wrote this and later while re-reading it, found it quite mediocre and lucid as far as the language goes. His son Dmitri, posthumously, translated this
Heaven Yassine
NABOKOV ! quelle plume, quelle nouvelle dérangeante!
hâte de lire Lolita
Георги Стоянов
Смятам, че "Вълшебникът" е плетеница от художествено съвършенство и забранени желания. Това, изглежда, е рецептата на Набоков за тази неморална порция от наслада.
Още в началото на книгата читателят е опрян като в ъгъла на боксов ринг и това принуждаване към отстъпление не спира през цялата книга. Но как да стане това, къде да се дръпнеш повече? Четящият е принуден да издържи засуканата реалност на перверзията и да се наслади на предчувстваното забранено благо, като че да става свидетел на повтор
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
Aug 05, 2010 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
Lee Kofman
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novella is a miniature Lolita, its predecessor. It is unbelievably dense - with surprising prose and complex emotions. An exquisite piece of work. The only thing, and this may be my fault as a reader, at times the understatement confused me too much. But then I read the commentary in the book written by its translator (who, gorgeously, is Nabokov’s son!) and realised that this understatement, less characteristic of Lolita, was an intentional literary device to make the reader unsure about w ...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.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"The Enchanter" is EXACTLY what many people who haven't read "Lolita" think the latter book will be: a rather graphic (for its time) story of the seduction of a young girl, all the while everyone apparently tripping the light fantastic. Yes, this is the "icky" version of "Lolita" and while the prose is still lovely (it's Nabokov through and through), it's still all rather "icky": it's as if Nabokov delivered "The Enchanter" specifically for those people who didn't want to bother with the stupend ...more
made of smoke and ashes
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: easy-read
"Първата Лолита" - смесица от магия и страх.
Riccardo Mainetti
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
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
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Nabokov in Three ...: Impressions 1 6 May 16, 2012 09:08PM  
  • The American Years
  • The Enchanter: Nabokov and Happiness
  • The Noise of Time: Selected Prose
  • Yann Andréa Steiner
  • The Village of Stepanchikovo
  • پرتره
  • Requiem for a Lost Empire
  • The Dragon: Fifteen Stories
  • La maison du canal
  • Sonata de otoño / Sonata de invierno
  • La presa
  • Memories of the Future
  • The Fatal Eggs
  • Nubosidad variable
  • The Story of a Nobody
  • Requiem for a Nun
  • Ventanas de Manhattan
  • Rabos de lagartija
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
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…” 19 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...” 1 likes
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