A Look at the Illustrated Edition of Nabokovs Lolita

Lolita has long held a place in literature for its obscure look at love, taboos, and the human psyche. Filled with rich language and richer moral complexities, the novel has attained its stature from its perplexing beauty and narrative. Now, the taboo themes are getting a bit more graphic (with graphic design that is) in the Folio Society Edition of Nabokov’s Lolita. The Frederico Infante illustrated edition severs itself from an oversexed perception of the book and its cinematic reads, and opts for some deeper psychological digging – all through a stunning visual exploration.

The images, which mirror specific scenes in the text, are tinted in pink highlights like an extension of the novel’s romantic cast. The lines are hazy and the images blurry, much like the boundaries Lolita deconstructs between morals and desires. They are all aesthetically complex, and grow increasingly so alongside the text. According to Infante, they are an attempt to convey the ethical and emotional subtext of Lolita.

For Infante, the goal was to create an image that didn’t surrender to an oversexualized and sensational version of the iconic character, but one that maintained a semblance of innocence and the young girl’s true essence. This was a task of parsing apart the deceptive illusions of protagonist Humbert, and the real events of the text.

With these guiding ideas, the stunning images were created.

In another artistic feature of the book, the title has been broken down to its units of pronunciation, “Lo-Lee-Ta,” capturing the opening lines of the infamous text.

For more information on the Folio Society Edition of Nabokov’s Lolita, check out their page here.


Images courtesy of Folio Society and Pinterest.