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Lolita (1955) is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, first written in English and published in 1955 in Paris, later translated by the author into Russian and published in 1958 in New York. The book is both internationally famous for its innovative style and infamous for its controversial subject: the narrator and protagonist, Humbert Humbert, becomes obsessed and sexually involved with a 12-year-old girl named Dolores Haze.
It has been argued, notably by literary scholar Michael Maar, that the novel is based on a 1916 short story, also titled Lolita, by the German author Heinz von Lichberg, featuring an identical theme.
When Lolita is sent to summer camp, Mrs. Haze gives Humbert an ultimatum by letter that he must marry her (for she has fallen in love with him) or move out. He is horrified at first, but sees living with Lolita as his stepdaughter as a way to make her part of his living fantasy and so agrees. Charlotte marries Humbert and appears oblivious to Humbert's distaste for her and his lust for Lolita until she reads his diary against his permission. Horrified and humiliated, Charlotte decides to flee with her daughter, writing letters to Humbert, Lolita, and a reformatory boarding school for young ladies to which she apparently intends to send her daughter. Charlotte confronts Humbert when he returns home, ignoring his protests that the diary entries are just notes for a novel, and bolts from the house to post the letters. But upon crossing the street, she is struck and killed by a passing motorist. A child retrieves the letters and gives them to Humbert, who destroys them.