500 POPULAR TROPICAL PLANTS by Periplus Editions

By Periplus Editions

288 web page, illustrating and data about:
hardiness region map, annuals, perennials, shrubs, timber, fruit and nut timber, cacti, succulents, orchids, ferns, cycads, climbers and creepers, and a reference desk.

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This story is characterized by dreams and supernatural trans-generational coincidences. The German professor, traveling in Spain, is introduced to an Alicante innkeeper’s daughter called Lolita, who “by our northern standards . . was terribly young. . Her body was boyishly slim and supple and her voice was full and dark. ” The couple have a sexual encounter and a brief affair and then part, but the story is really about the narrator’s strange nocturnal fantasies 30 Chasing Lolita that began at home in southern Germany and, in the light of his subsequent meeting with Lolita, seem to have let him glimpse mysterious events from the history of her family, the female line of which is apparently doomed to suffer madness and death shortly after giving birth.

It sold out immediately and made the fortune of a publishing house that, over the next thirty years, was to publish in Britain everything of Nabokov’s that it possibly could, making George Weidenfeld and Vladimir Nabokov mutual admirers. On the other side of the world in New South Wales, police raided the offices of the Sydney Nation, believing an illegal copy of Lolita must be there as the paper had just printed an extract from the novel; they found nothing. The complex literary and legal ruckus surrounding Lolita would gradually subside, but the next Lolita scandal was already in the making.

Indeed she did; many of them. In the course of the novel Humbert himself helpfully offers several historical examples of what he says are notable sexual relationships between older men and very young girls. These are presented to support his breezy assertion that what outrages today’s society may have been perfectly acceptable in earlier times or in other cultures. S. law since he, like everyone else, must be judged by the standards of the day. Still, by casting himself alongside poets like Dante and Petrarch—not to mention Edgar Allan Poe—he seeks somehow to glamorize his wretched appetites by implying that his perversion is one to which artists and visionaries are particularly susceptible.

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