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Centerwall, B.S. (1992). Vladimir Nabokov: A Case Study in Pedophilia. Psychoanal. Contemp. Thought, 15(2):199-239.

(1992). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 15(2):199-239

Vladimir Nabokov: A Case Study in Pedophilia

Brandon S. Centerwall, M.D.

Humbert Humbert, the protagonist in the novel Lolita, is the classic literary portrayal of a pedophile. Evidence is presented that the author of Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, was himself consciously a pedophile who acted out his desires vicariously through his writing. Drawing upon his literary works and biography, the manifest and genetic origins of Nabokov's pedophilia are traced back to an unresolved oedipal conflict complicated by childhood sexual abuse. The raw power of Lolita derives from the abreactive discharge of a libidinal cathexis denied any other mode of expression.

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