From Nabokov's 1964 interview with Playboy:
With the American publication of Lolita in 1958, your fame and fortune mushroomed almost overnight from high repute among the literary cognoscenti-- which you bad enjoyed for more than 30 years-- to both acclaim and abuse as the world-renowned author of a sensational bestseller. In the aftermath of this cause celebre, do you ever regret having written Lolita?Lolita appears among Henry Sutton's top ten unreliable narrators, Adam Leith Gollner's top ten fruit scenes in literature, Laura Hird's literary top 10 list, Monica Ali's ten favorite books, Laura Lippman's 5 most important books, Mohsin Hamid's 10 favorite books, and Dani Shapiro's 10 favorite books.
On the contrary, I shudder retrospectively when I recall that there was a moment, in 1950, and again in 1951, when I was on the point of burning Humbert Humbert's little black diary. No, I shall never regret Lolita. She was like the composition of a beautiful puzzle-- its composition and its solution at the same time, since one is a mirror view of the other, depending on the way you look. Of course she completely eclipsed my other works-- at least those I wrote in English: The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, Bend Sinister, my short stories, my book of recollections; but I cannot grudge her this. There is a queer, tender charm about that mythical nymphet.
Though many readers and reviewers would disagree that her charm is tender, few would deny that it is queer-- so much so that when director Stanley Kubrick proposed his plan to make a movie of Lolita, you were quoted as saying, "Of course they'll have to change the plot. Perhaps they will make Lolita a dwarfess. Or they will make her 16 and Humbert 26. " Though you finally wrote the screenplay yourself, several reviewers took the film to task for watering down the central relationship. Were you satisfied with the final product?
I thought the movie was absolutely...[read on]